The authority Christ gave to his Church to judge is most often exercised by declaring God’s forgiveness in absolution. However, a priest, acting under the authority of the bishop, may suspend
a person from receiving Communion because of scandalous and unrepented sin, in order to draw them to repentance and restoration. (Psalm 32; Matthew 16:19; 18:15–17; John 20:21–23; 1 Corinthians 5:1–13)
Then He mentions also another honor. And He said not, I will entreat the Father (although the manifestation of His authority was great, and the largeness of the gift unspeakable), but, I will give you. What dost Thou give? Tell me. The keys of the heavens, that whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven. How then is it not His to give to sit on His right hand, and on His left, Matthew 20:23 when He says, I will give you? Do you see how He, His own self, leads Peter on to high thoughts of Him, and reveals Himself, and implies that He is Son of God by these two promises? For those things which are peculiar to God alone, (both to absolve sins, and to make the church in capable of overthrow in such assailing waves, and to exhibit a man that is a fisher more solid than any rock, while all the world is at war with him), these He promises Himself to give; as the Father, speaking to Jeremiah, said, He would make him as a brazen pillar, and as a wall; Jeremiah 1:18 but him to one nation only, this man in every part of the world. I would fain inquire then of those who desire to lessen the dignity of the Son, which manner of gifts were greater, those which the Father gave to Peter, or those which the Son gave him? For the Father gave to Peter the revelation of the Son; but the Son gave him to sow that of the Father and that of Himself in every part of the world; and to a mortal man He entrusted the authority over all things in Heaven, giving him the keys; who extended the church to every part of the world, and declared it to be stronger than heaven. For heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away. Matthew 24:35 How then is He less, who has given such gifts, has effected such things? And these things I say, not dividing the works of Father and Son (for all things are made by Him, and without Him was nothing made which was made): but bridling the shameless tongue of them that dare so to speak. But see, throughout all, His authority: I say unto you, You are Peter; I will build the Church; I will give you the keys of Heaven.
Leave a Reply