St. Peter – Power of Attorney or Executor Designee?
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church . I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” Mt.16:18-20
“Peter, Jesus just gave you authority but what is your title? Are you the Power of Attorney or are you the Executor-Designee?”
Let us distinguish these two important titles.
Power of Attorney means that someone has asked you to act in their place. A person that helps another person in the running of their affairs is the Power of Attorney. In this scenario, 2 people are involved in an act. For instance, I designate a person legally to act for me. I know what’s happening; it is my decision and I instruct the other person to act for me. When I wanted to buy a house in North Carolina, I asked my cousin to act for me. After the Power of Attorney document appointing my cousin to act for me on one specific day for one specific event was signed by me, witnessed and given to legal authorities, my cousin acted as my agent and signed all the legal document at the closing for me. Many elderly people ask a child to act as the Power of Attorney for them. The parent asks the designated person to sign a check to pay a bill, to make a withdrawal from the bank etc. Remember, the designated Power of Attorney cannot make these decisions alone. These decisions are made by the person who grants the Power of Attorney. The person designated does the act. The are many types of Power of Attorney that can be given, one for financial , one for health and there can be on just for one specific purpose and it ends once the purpose is completed
A woman came to a funeral home and wanted to pre-arrange for her father’s funeral. It was her father’s wish to make these plans, so his daughter came to the funeral home and made her father’s funeral arrangements. The daughter had to present to the funeral director the Power of Attorney Legal Form that said the father had designated his daughter to act as his Power of Attorney, ( his agent). Once the document was presented, the daughter signed the funeral arrangement on behalf of her father, presented a check ( her father’s funds) to the funeral home and the arrangements were complete as if the father himself had come to the funeral home to make his arrangements.
Once in a while a person would come into the funeral home to make a funeral arrangement in an ‘at need basis’ for a loved one. During the discussion of funeral arrangements, the person will tell the funeral director that he or she is the Power of Attorney for the person that has passed away. When the person that has granted the Power of Attorney passes away, the “Power” passes away also. Remember, 2 people are involved to have a legal Power of Attorney.
In this case, if there is a Will, then the decedent has designated someone to carry out his or her estate after they have died.. The person designated is called the Executor -Designee ( Male ) or the Executrix-Designee (Female). Sometimes a person will come into the funeral home and announce that he or she is the Executor /Executrix of the Will so they will be in charge of all decisions. This is technically wrong. This person may have been designated ( Executor / Executrix-Designee) by the decedent, but must first be appointed by Probate Court ( Clerk of the Court) in the local area where the decedent lived. Once the will is presented to the court and the court approves, the person will be appointed “Executor / Executrix of the Will”.
The reason ‘designated’ is used is because the designation can be refused by the person who was named in the will to be Executor / Executrix. Acting as an Executor / Executrix can take time and the person designated just does not have the time to give to the matter and the person refuses. Some people are just not able to carry out the responsibilities and so a Co-Executor might be appointed. Sometimes the Will is so old the person designated is dead or has moved far away. Remember to designate two or three people to be the “Executor / Executrix” of the will just in case the first person named as Executor / Executrix Designee refuses to accept the designation or is not around.
So who would be in charge of the funeral if it is not the Executor / Executrix Designee? Very simply, it is the next of kin
So let’s get back to St. Peter and Jesus. It seems that St. Peter was designated to be Jesus’ Power of Attorney if Jesus signed the necessary legal documents, had them witnessed and filed with the local civil authorities. At the death of Jesus, Peter was the Executor-Designee of Jesus’ Will, but was not in charge of Jesus’ funeral because Peter was not appointed by the court. Mary, the Mother of Jesus was in charge of Jesus’ funeral arrangements because she is the next of kin. She employs Joseph to take charge of the funeral arrangements and burial.
The next chapter of this story becomes very interesting. Before Peter can go to the Probate Court in Jerusalem, Jesus rises from the dead. Now what is Peter? If we believe that Jesus is alive, then simply Peter is the Power of Attorney for Jesus for 2 people are alive. That would make the Pope in the Catholic Faith, the Power of Attorney of Jesus for “Tu est Petros” you are Peter.
Did Jesus have a Will? I don’t know if it was written down, but Jesus did say someone else did,” this is the will of the One who sent me; that I should loose nothing that he gave me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37-40)