In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 16, we see the famous exchange between Peter and Jesus. It is one that Catholics especially should be familiar with, since it helps us to understand the office of the papacy, and Peter’s role as leader of the Church.
Jesus says, “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” Other translations render “netherworld” as “Hades” or “hell.” (There is a subtle difference between the two, but you get the picture.)
I think most people recognize that the Church is under attack. While much of the negative publicity of late has been because of the sins of some of Her members, Satan never misses an opportunity to undermine Holy Mother Church. Sometimes it can feel as though Satan is winning. While he may prevail in a skirmish or two, in the end the battle belongs to the Lord. We must always remember and hang our hats on that.
Father, help us to always remember that the gates of hell will never prevail against your church. When all else crumbles, your church will remain. May we always remain with Her. Amen.