“Simon Peter, servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained equal faith with us in the justice of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2Pet1:1)
Hebrews11:1 – “Now, faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.” For by this the ancients obtained a testimony.”
“The relationship of the act of faith to the object of the intellect, considered as the object of faith, is indicated by the words, “evidence of things that appear not,” where “evidence” is taken for the result of evidence. For evidence induces the intellect to adhere to a truth, wherefore the firm adhesion of the intellect to the non-apparent truth of faith is called “evidence” here. Hence another reading has “conviction,” because to wit, the intellect of the believer is convinced by Divine authority, so as to assent to what it sees not. Accordingly if anyone would reduce the foregoing words to the form of a definition, he may say that ” faith is a habit of the mind, whereby eternal life is begun in us, making the intellect assent to what is non-apparent.”
Thomas shares his research:
Whatever other definitions are given of faith, are explanations of this one given by the Apostle. For when Augustine says (Tract. xl in Joan.: QQ. Evang. ii, qu. 39) that “faith is a virtue whereby we believe what we do not see,” and when Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iv, 11) that ” faith is an assent without research,” and when others say that ” faith is that certainty of the mind about absent things which surpasses opinion but falls short of science,” these all amount to the same as the Apostle’s words: “Evidence of things that appear not”; and when Dionysius says (Div. Nom. vii) that “faith solid foundation of the believer, establishing him in the truth, and showing forth the truth in him,” comes to the same as “substance of things to be hoped for.”
Finally, 2nd Edition Catechism of the Catholic Church: #26 FAITH:
Faith is man’s response to God, who reveals himself and gives himself to man, at the same time bringing man a superabundant light as he searches for the ultimate meaning of his life.”#26 [Part ONE Profession of Faith: Section One “I Believe – We Believe”]
So with these definitions in mind, Who is the Apostle of Faith?
Sister St. Catherine of Sienna says: “Peter, the Apostle of Faith”, here is why she is Right. [Mystic, Virgin,Stigmata-Crown of Thorns, Saint & Doctor 1347-1380AD, Feast day May3rd]
So Peter boldly spoke in faith, the TRUTH that the Pharisees and Sadducees would call out “demanding for death due to blasphemies.” “Jesus saith to them: But whom do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said: “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.”And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou …..(Mt16:15-17)
We see very clearly and explicitly, Peter who proclaims “Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God”. Jesus response “Blessed are You”… ! Lamb of God, the victim as St John the Baptist witnesses. But the Christ (Messiah) & Son of the Living God”?…. “Flesh and blood did NOT reveal this to you, BUT my Father who is in heaven.” Then He immediately states, “And I will lay the key of the house of David upon his shoulder: and he shall open, and none shall shut: and he shall shut, and none shall open. (Is22:22) or as recorded by Matthew (Mt16:18-19). “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.”
After all the other apostles had a chance to speak, Or state their FAITH, only after Jesus asks a second time, Peter responds with FAITH. Jesus, confirms Peter’s words with “Blessed are you.” (Mt16:15-16)
So Isaiah prophesied (Is22:22), Jesus said it! (Mt16:16-19), I believe it, why isn’t it Final?
Certainly ALL the Apostles, display respect and deference to Peter thereafter, so why not our Orthodox brothers? Or less likely other christian apostates? NO, these prefer to teach that Jesus left his Church on earth to even willy-nillies of store front preachers, without assigning leadership, nor prudence in governess, nor teachers, nor protectors of His FAITH? Instead theses devils teach another gospel! Do these even dare give Him credence and acknowledge Jesus as the source of ALL WISDOM? Or is this wisdom of men? Theses devils show utter contempt! As we read, in 2 Macabees, a loathing human King had enough Wisdom and concern for his subjects to appoint a successor! when Antiochus writes to his Jewish people,..(2Mc9:19-26) below.
“But considering that my father also, at what time he led an army into the higher countries, appointed who should reign after him: To the end that if any thing contrary to expectation should fall out, or any bad tidings should be brought, they that were in the countries, knowing to whom the whole government was left, might not be troubled.” (2Mc9:19-26 )
Yet the Lord, Know-er of All things past and future, in the present, the Source of Wisdom, “Light from Light” left his Church abandoned without such prudence or concern?, as this human King Antiochus?
This is what you call “True FAITH in Almighty God”, and love for Jesus the Christ?
Apostle of Faith seen in Scripture:
“And Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea (for they were fishers). And he saith to them: Come ye after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men. And they immediately leaving their nets, followed him.” Mt4:18-20). All demonstrate faith in the unknown, “ what kind of lively-hood is “fisher of men”?
Similarly Luke’s Account of the event includes a miraculous fish catch:
“And going into one of the ships that was Simon’s, he desired him to draw back a little from the land. And sitting he taught the multitudes out of the ship. Now when he had ceased to speak, he said to Simon: Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said to him: Master, we have labored all the night, and have taken nothing: but at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they enclosed a very great multitude of fishes, and their net broke. And they beckoned to their partners that were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they were almost sinking. Which when Simon Peter saw, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Lk5:6-8) Peter overjoyed about the fish recognizes his guilt and pleads for Mercy, proclaiming Jesus, as Lord! Jesus true to His mission seeks sinful repentant man.
PROPHESY: “AND I WILL SET UP ONE SHEPHERD OVER THEM, and he shall feed them, even my servant David: he shall feed them, and he shall be their Shepherd.” (Ezek34:23)
Is it Noteworthy, scripture states the Hierarchy, “One Shepherd over them!”
Transfiguration according to Matthew
“And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. And Peter answering, said to Jesus: Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed them. And lo, a voice out of the cloud, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: hear ye him. (Mt17:2-5). Peter may in faith jumped to an unsound conclusion when he blurts out “let us make three tabernacles” Later in 2Peter he remembers
“For we have not by following artificial fables, made known to you the power, and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ; but we were eyewitnesses of His greatness. For he received from God the Father, honor and glory: this voice coming down to him from the excellent glory: ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount.” (2Pet1:16-18) Peter recalls the Transfiguration but excludes His interpretation of the event, only reporting what he saw and heard.
As Leader of the Church, he reminds others, “And we have the more firm prophetical word: where unto you do well to attend, as to a light that shine in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (2Pet1:20) Understanding this first, that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation, this is the province of the Holy Ghost and His Church.
Luke records two important Faith facts in the verse below:
“And the Lord said: Simon Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and thou, being once converted, confirm thy brethren. Who said to him: Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, till thou thrice deny that thou know me”…..(Lk22:32-35)
The first Faith fact is confirmed through Satan. Satan speaks to Jesus, and wants permission to tempt Simon to the limit, (no other Apostle receives this acknowledgement for the devil) and Jesus allows this. This demonstrates that the Satan and his army know who will lead Jesus’ Church, even though many so called followers refuse to recognize what Satan knows is true. Also Mary, who Satan has been prowling after for eons, is NEVER allowed or granted this pleasure. So is possible Jesus prayer for Peter goes unanswered? Rome has lost the faith? Those who claim this are Anathema!
The second Faith fact is in the above trial of Peter’s faith, Peter stumbles, but by the resurrection his faith is completely restored, immediately at the tomb. Jesus of course predicted that His Apostles would lose faith and “scandalize Him” as a fulfillment in prophesy.
“Then Jesus said to them: All you shall be scandalized in me this night. For it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be dispersed. But after I shall be risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.” (Mt26:31-32) Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that cleave to me, saith the Lord of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand to the little ones. (Zach13:7)
Peter walks on water: Who hasn’t heard this?
And they seeing him walk upon the sea, were troubled, saying: It is an apparition. And they cried out for fear. And immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: Be of good heart: it is I, fear ye not. And Peter making answer, said: Lord, if it be thou, bid me come to thee upon the waters. And he said: Come. And Peter going down out of the boat, walked upon the water to come to Jesus. But seeing the wind strong, he was afraid: and when he began to sink, he cried out, saying: Lord, save me. (Mt14:26-30)
Only Peter steps out, to walk on water with Jesus and does so, “stepping out in faith,” while the others sit fearfully in the boat. When Peter’s faith fades, does he reach for despair? No, Peter, in distress of drowning, begs Jesus to save him. Classic lesson in faith, in time of trouble. Confirming Peter again as the Apostle of Faith.
Third appearance of Jesus following His Resurrection is recorded by John (21:1-19)
Many years later, John writes his gospel, as he is the LAST of the Apostles. This Eastertide gospel recording the third appearance of the risen Lord. Jesus, blesses the world with yet another proof of His Divinity and Wisdom. “… They cast therefore: and now they were not able to draw it, for the multitude of fishes. That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him (for he was naked) and cast himself into the sea “ (Jn21:6-8) Here we see it is Peter, walking on water, stepping out into FAITH.
When therefore they had dined,
Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, love thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou know that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, love thou me? He saith to him: yea, Lord, thou know that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, love thou me? Peter was grieved because he had said to him the third time: Love thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou know all things: thou know that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep. (Jn21:15-17)
Once again Peter, demonstrates his faith. “Lord thou know ALL things!” Jesus is God, as only God knows all things from beginning to end, in His present. Peter, the Apostle of Faith is recorded again.
First recorded Miracle following Pentecost: (Acts3:6-7)
“But Peter said: ‘Silver and gold I have none; but what I have, I give thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, arise, and walk.‘ And taking him by the right hand, he lifted him up, and forthwith his feet and soles received strength. And he leaping up, stood, and walked, and went in with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Peter’s faith (as leader of the Church, was so powerful people with faith were healed by his Shadow! .. “Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that when Peter came, his shadow at the least, might overshadow any of them, and they might be delivered from their infirmities.” (Acts5:15) In the New Testament – is there another Apostle of Faith, such as this?
It is the Father who chose Peter. Peter received His grace and he willingly accepted in faith. Time and again, Peter’s faith is portrayed in the gospels as written testaments to us. So we see, in the visible Church Christ builds, Peter, is named leader as “Chief Shepherd of Jesus’ flock” of lambs, then sheep. During His ministry, Jesus spoke of Himself as the Shepherd of the flock. But in His divine wisdom assigns another, a successor. We also know this metaphor Jesus & scripture use for his faithful or believers in “the City of God,” several times and most importantly in the second coming. Where Matthew tells us, “And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the Shepherd separate the sheep from the goats:” (Mt25:32) So Peter is given the responsibility of shepherding the sheep, until His return. The sheep know their shepherd. “But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.” (Jn10:2)
“I am the good shepherd. Then John quotes Jesus, “This proverb Jesus spoke to them. But they understood not what he spoke to them. Jesus therefore said to them again: “Amen, amen I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not.” (Jn10:6-8) It then follows: “The good shepherd gives his life for his sheep.” (Jn10:11) Jesus speaks of himself, but His successors Peter and many successor Popes, also gave their lives and were martyred for His Church.
What are our take-a-ways from this?
The scriptures explicitly state, and indirectly point to Peter as the Apostle of Faith, while he is the successor to the Christ. It only stands by good reason, that Peter is not only responsible for feeding, tending and caring for the lambs and sheep of the faithful, the Flock of Jesus, but he must maintain the Faith for His Flock. How else would his sheep know his Voice? Denying this evident truth, is Denial of the Christ. This rejection carries many severe warnings. Peter himself says, “For you were as sheep going astray; but you are now converted to the Shepherd and bishop of your souls.” (2Pet2:25)
Here is One! Leo XIII – Blessed Trinity [DIVINUM ILLUD MUNUS] Given at St. Peter’s, in Rome, on the 9th day of May, 1897, in the 20th year of Our Pontificate
….“in the first place, towards the restoration, both in rulers and peoples, of the principles of the Christian life in civil and domestic society, since there is no true life for men except from Christ; and, secondly, to promote the reunion of those who have fallen away from the Catholic Church either by heresy or by schism, since it is most undoubtedly the will of Christ that all should be united in one flock under one Shepherd.”
Bible the Word of God for you? – Spiritual WARNING when the sheep are without a Shepherd!
1. “And my sheep were scattered, because there was no shepherd: and they became the prey of all the beasts of the field, and were scattered.” (EZK34:5) [How true is this? Eastern Orthodox and western Lutherisms?]
2. “But the hireling, and he that is not the Shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, see the wolf coming, and leave the sheep, and flee: and the wolf catch, and scatter the sheep:” (Jn10:12)
3. “I am the good shepherd; and I know mine, and mine know me.”. (Jn10:14)
4. “As I live, saith the Lord God, for as much as my flocks have been made a spoil, and my sheep are become a prey to all the beasts of the field, because there was no shepherd: for my shepherds did not seek after my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flocks:” (Ezk34:8)
DO YOU HAVE THE SHEPHERD IN FAITH? or do you rather choose“self”, deny Christ?, and what do you tell your other Goats?
Indulgence Prayer: Roman Missal – Indulgence of yrs. A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, when daily recitation for 1 month. (S.P. Ap., Nov 22,1934).
“Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us an increase of faith, hope and charity; and, that we may deserve to obtain that which Thous does command. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.”