Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

8/13/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In King Christ's kingdom the steward holds the power and authority of the monarch and exercises that authority in his absence and by his specific delegation

The Catholic Church is not only established on the Rock of Peter by Jesus Christ himself, but it has divine origins in that the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to recognize the Christ. He was also inspired to pick up this role and be the key preacher at Pentecost and the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of God. The role is a successive one, and his successor lives today just a few hundred yards from where Peter himself was martyred and buried, and you can see him there exercising his role as steward of the faith and steward of the mysteries of God.

Pope Benedict XVI, the successor of Peter, bowing before an Icon of the King of Kings

Pope Benedict XVI, the successor of Peter, bowing before an Icon of the King of Kings

Highlights

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/13/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: papacy, pope, authority, Peter, Authority, Magisterium, Pope Benedict, Fr Dwight Longenecker


GREENVILLE,SC (Catholic Online) - With the London Olympics it's all eyes on Britain, and the unique relationship between the British monarch and the government makes a great illustration of the foundation of the Catholic faith.

In the famous passage where Jesus says Peter is the rock on which he will build his church (Matt. 16:18), Jesus quotes a verse from  the Old Testament. In Isaiah 22 the prophet says that the Lord will take the office of steward from Shebna and give it to Eliakim. The steward is the king's right hand man. The one to whom he delegates authority.

The office of steward was like that of Prime Minister. In England the Prime Minister is asked to form a government by HM Queen Elizabeth II. Officially he has no power until he takes a car to Buckingham Palace and meets the Queen in person and she personally and formally delegates her authority to him.

The steward of the King in the prophet Isaiah bears a similar office. He wears an official robe and sash conferring the dignity of his office and on the sash are the keys to the kingdom. The steward has the keys to the palace, the keys to the city gate, the keys to the treasury, the keys to the armory, the keys to the prison, the keys to the all the power and wealth of the kingdom. Whatever he opens is open. Whatever he binds is bound.

Jesus' disciples would have understood perfectly his reference back to Isaiah 22 and would have understood clearly that he was making Peter the Steward of his Kingdom, the Viceroy, Prime Minister Peter.

In King Christ's kingdom the steward holds the power and authority of the monarch and exercises that authority in his absence and by his specific delegation. The Old Testament passage also indicates that this is not simply a position of power and prestige, but the steward is to be known as "the Father of the inhabitants of Jerusalem." Jerusalem is the holy city, and as the Hebrew monarch was also the head of the religion, the steward would also have played a religious role and, if you like, could be called, "Holy Father."

The interesting thing in both passages is that this authority is divinely given. It is not a human invention. The prophet Isaiah says the Lord will put down Shebna and raise up Eliakim to bear the authority of the King. In the gospel, Prime Minister Peter's authority is based on his confession of Jesus Christ as the Anointed Son of God, and Jesus recognizes that this inspiration and insight was given to Peter by God. It was not just a good idea, a theory or a human invention.

Protestants say that churches are man made institutions. We have to agree with them. Their churches are man made. The Catholic Church, however, claims something far more stupendous and wonderful-that she is not a man made institution. The Catholic Church is not only established on the Rock of Peter by Jesus Christ himself, but it has divine origins in that the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to recognize the Christ. He was also inspired to pick up this role and be the key preacher at Pentecost and the first Prime Minister of the Kingdom of God.

Unfortunately too many Catholics forget the divine origin of the Catholic Church and fall into Protestant speak. So they say of the church's dogma or moral teachings, "Yeah, well, those are just man made rules." Are they? The church does distinguish between matters of church discipline which are man made rules. These can be dispensed by the proper authority. However, the dogmas of the church and the moral teaching of the church are not man made, and Catholics don't really have the liberty to pick and choose which they like.

Instead we remember that the church is founded on Prime Minister Peter. The role is a successive one, and his successor lives today just a few hundred yards from where Peter himself was martyred and buried, and you can see him there exercising his role as steward of the faith and steward of the mysteries of God.

His name isn't Peter this time. It is our Holy Father Benedict.

-----
Fr Dwight Longenecker is the parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Greenville, South Carolina. He is author of many articles and books on the Catholic faith. Visit his website and blog at www.dwightlongenecker.com

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Living Faith

Why do Catholics love the crucifix so much?

Image of The crucifix is an important part of our Catholic identity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The crucifix is a quintessentially Catholic icon. Although other Christians fondly and proudly display the cross, it is the crucifix that is largely unique to the Catholics. Why is the symbol of the death of Christ so important to Catholics? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


What is the Kingdom of God? How do We Live in it Now? Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present as seed and sign in a world which is in labor, awaiting a new birth. We are a people on mission in that world, waiting to be fully liberated from the ... continue reading


Nuclear weapons still threaten the world

Image of Nuclear weapons still threaten the world.

By Tony Magliano

You are within 30 minutes of being incinerated from nuclear weapons! If you live in or near a large U.S. city or major military installation, you are in harm's way. And when considering that radiation fallout from a nuclear attack would hurt virtually everyone, we are ... continue reading


POPE: 'A man who is alone ends up bitter, not fruitful, and he gossips about others' Watch

Image of The pope told the priests that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"A man who is alone ends up bitter, not fruitful, and he gossips about others." Those are the words of the Pope, speaking out during a meeting with 123 priests working in the Diocese of Caserta along with 19 bishops from Italy's Campania region this past ... continue reading


UPROOTED: Largest displacement of worldwide religious communities reached last year Watch

Image of In the nation of Central African Republic, widespread lawlessness and violence between Christians and Muslims resulted in at least 700 deaths in Bangui in December -- alone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The year of 2013 turned out to be a very grim year indeed for religious tolerance and diversity. Millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Papal visit to US not confirmed, but archbishop confident

Image of Pope Francis coming to Philly next September!

By Catholic News Agency (News Consortium)

Lets all Pray that Pope Francis comes to visit us here in the United States of America. Philadelphia, PA  (CNA/EWTN) - Reports that Pope Francis will travel to the U.S. for the World Meeting of Families in 2015 remain unconfirmed by the Vatican; however, ... continue reading


Catholic should be a way of life, not just a Sunday thing

Image of Catholic means universal. It's time to apply that to how we live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

To know the way forward, we must look to the past. As the very first chapter Ecclesiastes tells us, "there is no new thing under the sun," meaning that everything we think of as new is actually old and whatever we can imagine has been imagined, and even tried by those ... continue reading


Let the Holy Spirit Teach us How to Become Prayer Watch

Image of St. Paul wrote to the early Christians in Greece, telling them to pray without ceasing. (1 Th. 5:16-19) They did not live lives of ease, in any sense of the word. They had families, occupations, bills, and yes, difficulties and struggles beyond what many of us could imagine. They also suffered greatly for their faith. Yet, he instructed them to Pray without ceasing. Did he really mean it? I believe that he did.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When the Spirit dwells in a person, from the moment in which that person has become prayer, he never leaves him. For the Spirit himself never ceases to pray in him. Whether the person is asleep or awake, prayer never from then on departs from his soul. Whether he ... continue reading


Pope Francis meets, blesses Sudanese woman condemned to death for faith Watch

Image of Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death for apostasy, but has since escaped her sentence and left Sudan.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has met and blessed the Sudanese woman who was recently condemned to death for her faith. Meriam Ibrahim was condemned to death in Sudan for the crime of apostasy. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis has met and blessed Meriam Ibrahim at the ... continue reading


MIRACLE IN ENGLAND: God's face smiles over Norfolk, or is it Sean Connery or Karl Marx? Watch

Image of This image is suspected to show the face of God in clouds over Norfolk, however, it may also be the face of Karl Marx or Sean Connery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The English have long thought themselves special, and a new photograph from Norfolk in England may just prove that God does indeed smile on the English. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Amateur photographer Jeremy Fletcher took an image that shows a face in ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 26:1-9
1 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:6, 8-10, 14
6 Those who hope in you must not be made fools of, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter