Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr Dwight Longenecker

8/13/2012 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2015
General Intention:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Missionary Intention: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Living Faith

Vatican deeply apologizes for Pope Francis' Argentina 'Mexicanization' comment Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis did not mean any offense - but in a private email about his native land Argentina's drug trafficking issues, the pope expressed concern over Argentina's "Mexicanization." The Vatican is now trying to clarify and apologize to any parties that may ... continue reading


UPDATE: Two years after resignation Pope Emeritus Benedict said to be doing well Watch

Image of Pope Emeritus Benedict is said to be in better health since his resignation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With Pope Francis in the spotlight, many wonder what is happening with Pope Emeritus Benedict, who is keeping true to his pledge to remain out of the public eye. For the curious, we have good news, Pope Emeritus Benedict is doing well, if not even better than before. ... continue reading


Beating swords into plowshares

Image of

By Tony Magliano

"In the days to come, the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain and raised above the hills," writes the prophet Isaiah. "Many peoples shall come and say: Come, let us go up to the Lord's mountain . that he may instruct us in his ... continue reading


Andrew M. Greenwell: St. Bonaventure on Counsel Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

In Bonaventure's analysis of this gift of counsel, there are three steps to sound counsel, which we may also call distinctions.  Counsel relates to whether something is permitted, and, if permitted, whether it is appropriate, and, if permitted and ... continue reading


Pope Francis wants you to pray to end Christian persecution. But will Catholics answer him?

Image of Christians face more than the Islamic State. Destitute, they lack sanitation, privacy, food and water, and their spiritual end educational needs aren't being met. A tremendous effort will be needed to restore these people. Let us pray.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With the mass kidnapping of over 100 Christians in Syria, it has become painfully clear that the Islamic State thinks nothing of targeting innocent civilians and children, threatening, enslaving and murdering anyone whose faith is different. We need now, more than ... continue reading


Saint Gregory of Narek to become 36 Doctor of the Church Watch

Image of An image of Saint Gregory of Narek on an illuminated manuscript.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An Armenian monk and poet from the 10th-century has been named a Doctor of the Universal Church by Pope Francis, an announcement which may be timed coming so close before the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, in which over a million Armenians were ... continue reading


Join Pope Francis and Christians around the world in a Global Day of Prayer to STOP the violent persecution of Christians at the hands of radical Islamic terrorists

Image of The world is asked to join in prayer to end the grave dangers Christians face around the globe.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

We have come to a time of great trial and tribulation in the Church. Christians around the world face more persecution today than they did in ancient Rome. On a daily basis, Christians are being martyred only because they refuse to renounce their faith. It is time for ... continue reading


YCVF Reports - what your generosity did for Syrian and Iraqi Christians in 2014!

Image of YCVF has helped thousands in need. You can be part of this success too. Help now!

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Your Catholic Voice Foundation 2014 Report - Last year, caring, devoted Catholics such as you made thousands of donations to care for Christians in Syria and Iraq. At this time, Your Catholic Voice Foundation would like to report how your donations made a difference. ... continue reading


First Sunday of Lent: Enter the Desert and Fight the World, the Flesh and the Devil Watch

Image of Jesus was driven by the Spirit into the desert, for us! There, he did battle with the world, the flesh and the devil, for us!

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Let us enter into the desert in Jesus and embrace the Lenten way of voluntary sacrifice, fasting, prayer and alms giving. In so doing, we will receive the much needed grace it offers - and be made ready to celebrate in even greater freedom the Victory Feast of ... continue reading


Andrew M. Greenwell: St. Bonaventure on Fortitude Watch

Image of

By Andrew M. Greenwell, Esq.

The gift of fortitude comes to us through the "unassailable shield of faith," the "serene solace of hope," and the "inextinguishable fire of love," and so it follows that we must ask that God increase our faith, our hope, and our love of Him.  [V, 9]  It is ... 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, Esther C:12, 14-16, 23-25
12 The king said to Queen Esther, 'In the citadel of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 138:1-2, 2-3, 7-8
1 [Of David] I thank you, Yahweh, with all my heart, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 7:7-12
7 'Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 26th, 2015 Image

St. Isabel of France
February 26: Sister of St. Louis and daughter of King Louis VIII of France ... 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