Peter and the keys of the kingdom of heaven


#1

Today(June 29th) being the feast day of St.Peter & St. Paul the first thing that comes to our mind is the glorious and historical declaration of Peter in Mt.16-16
“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God "
and the great promise of Jesus in 16-19 ,
" And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Stories of Peter standing at the gate of heaven and questioning those who want to go in etc.are based on the assumption that the key given to him is the key to the entrance to the actual heaven itself and that he is given the power admit or not to admit ( bind & loose) souls into heaven. Another view is that the the kingdom refers to that to be established on earth and not to the actual heaven.But since earth and heaven are mentioned in the verse distinctly and separately this may not be correct. Yet another view is that the keys are for opening the gospel and binding/loosening refers to the power to enforce or to exempt from the obligation the O.T laws.What are the church teachings in the matter ?


#2

:popcorn::compcoff:


#3

Catechism

“The keys of the kingdom”

551 From the beginning of his public life Jesus chose certain men, twelve in number, to be with him and to participate in his mission.280 He gives the Twelve a share in his authority and 'sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal."281 They remain associated for ever with Christ’s kingdom, for through them he directs the Church:

As my Father appointed a kingdom for me, so do I appoint for you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.282
552 Simon Peter holds the first place in the college of the Twelve;283 Jesus entrusted a unique mission to him. Through a revelation from the Father, Peter had confessed: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Our Lord then declared to him: "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it."284 Christ, the “living Stone”,285 thus assures his Church, built on Peter, of victory over the powers of death. Because of the faith he confessed Peter will remain the unshakable rock of the Church. His mission will be to keep this faith from every lapse and to strengthen his brothers in it.286

553 Jesus entrusted a specific authority to Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."287 The “power of the keys” designates authority to govern the house of God, which is the Church. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, confirmed this mandate after his Resurrection: "Feed my sheep."288 The power to “bind and loose” connotes the authority to absolve sins, to pronounce doctrinal judgements, and to make disciplinary decisions in the Church. Jesus entrusted this authority to the Church through the ministry of the apostles289 and in particular through the ministry of Peter, the only one to whom he specifically entrusted the keys of the kingdom.

II. THE POWER OF THE KEYS

981 After his Resurrection, Christ sent his apostles "so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations."526 The apostles and their successors carry out this “ministry of reconciliation,” not only by announcing to men God’s forgiveness merited for us by Christ, and calling them to conversion and faith; but also by communicating to them the forgiveness of sins in Baptism, and reconciling them with God and with the Church through the power of the keys, received from Christ:527

[The Church] has received the keys of the Kingdom of heaven so that, in her, sins may be forgiven through Christ’s blood and the Holy Spirit’s action. In this Church, the soul dead through sin comes back to life in order to live with Christ, whose grace has saved us.528


#4

Oh,Thank you !


#5

To carry out the will of the Father, Christ inaugurated the Kingdom of heaven on earth and revealed to us the mystery of that kingdom. By His obedience He brought about redemption. The Church, or, in other words, the kingdom of Christ now present in mystery, grows visibly through the power of God in the world. (Lumen Gentium, 3)

The Lord Jesus set it on its course by preaching the Good News, that is, the coming of the Kingdom of God, which, for centuries, had been promised in the Scriptures: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand”(18). In the word, in the works, and in the presence of Christ, this kingdom was clearly open to the view of men. (Lumen Gentium, 5)

the kingdom of God, which has been begun by God Himself on earth, and which is to be further extended until it is brought to perfection by Him at the end of time, when Christ, our life,(93) shall appear, and “creation itself will be delivered from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the sons of God”. (Lumen Gentium, 9)


#6

There is some misunderstanding.Peter was given the key to the kingdom of heaven and not to any kingdom on earth. As already pointed out, use of the words earth and heaven distinctly and separately, rules out the possibilty of a kingdom of heaven on’ earth’. Similarly kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God appears to be different.


#7

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