At first glance today’s Gospel may seem to have two parts to it: Peter’s confession of faith in Jesus and Jesus’ commission to Peter as “rock” of the Church. But what is revealed in this scene from St. Matthew’s Gospel with Peter is really what happens in the life of each Christian.
Peter professes his faith; Jesus gives him a job. For each and everyone of us it is the same. We profess our faith in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, and then we get a commission.
Living the Christian life is not just standing up and saying, “I believe in Jesus.” Living the Christian life is also being empowered by the Holy Spirit to share God’s love through our actions of care for others; it is using the Spirit’s gifts to tell others about Christ; it is acting as a reconciler, bringing people closer together as one family of God.
We are still divided, and the struggle seems almost eternal, but we should see that living faith - being loyal to Jesus - as a door that leads to a permanent solution.