If you will allow me, I’d like to show something that has often been overlooked in the whole “Peter the Rock” scenario. I found this extremely interesting and would like to get your take on it. This comes from “Catholic for a Reason III”:
Matthew notes that six days before the Transfiguration (the Transfiguration took place during the feast of the Tabernacles), which would have been the Feast of Atonement, something quite remarkable took place between Jesus and Peter. Recall that the Feast of the Atonement was the one occasion when the High Priest was permitted to pronounce the hallowed name of God, Yahweh, which was God’s special revelation of His own identity to Moses on Mount Sinai. Recall that God said to Moses, “I Am who I Am”, and “***Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I Am has sent me to you’***” (Ex. 3:13-14). If “Yahweh” or “I Am” is to be the divine name, it is significant that in Matthew 16:15, Jesus asks the apostles, “Who do you say that I Am?” Simon Peter responds, “You are the Christ, the son of the Living God”. Jesus then calls it a direct revelation from God the Father. He says to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church” (Mt. 16:17-18). This remarkable passage seems to cast Peter, by his disclosure of Jesus’ previously hidden identity, in the role of the High Priest, who alone speaks the revealed name on the Day of Atonement. Jesus even calls Peter by his given name “Simon Bar-Jona,” which was also the name of a famous High Priest of the Maccabean era whose praises are sung in a passage in Sirach 50:1-20.
It is worth spending this much time recalling this one fulfillment of a Jewish feast because it shows the coinciding of the feast’s fulfillment with the establishment of the authority of Peter and the foundation of the Church. This new Church, of which Peter is to be the rock foundation, will be the heir of the feasts of the Jewish liturgical year, transformed and perfected in Christ, and the agent in the establishment of the new liturgy that will fulfill the old.