On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 29, 2016 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

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Today as we celebrate the Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul, we hear the resounding call to faithful discipleship.

Two of the most iconic figures in the history of our Church and yet whose very lives could easily be a representation of our very own.  St Peter a brash fisherman who clearly was not forward thinking at least in the beginning. Made many clumsy mistakes whether in word or deed. And of all people was unlikely to betray Jesus because of his love for Him. But he did! This is the man chosen to be the rock the foundation on which our Church is built. Why? Because like him, we too can be transformed by the grace, mercy and love of God. We too can acknowledge that we have sinned, pick ourselves up and return to the Lord. He was faithful to the very end and the wisdom he imparted invaluable.

St Paul, on the other hand was an intellect not found to be wanting. He possessed a zealous love for God’s law. Passionate enough to do anything to put an end to Christianity.  And yet he was chosen to bring Christianity to all! So that like him we too have hope and will experience the brilliant light of Christ. Be transformed to serve Him and our brethren in loving humility.  To boldly proclaim the Gospels and the message of God’s love to the very end.

St Peter and St Paul pray for us. Amen

First reading
Acts 12:1-11

King Herod started persecuting certain members of the Church. He beheaded James the brother of John, and when he saw that this pleased the Jews he decided to arrest Peter as well. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread, and he put Peter in prison, assigning four squads of four soldiers each to guard him in turns. Herod meant to try Peter in public after the end of Passover week. All the time Peter was under guard the Church prayed to God for him unremittingly.

  On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with double chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison. Then suddenly the angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. ‘Get up!’ he said ‘Hurry!’ – and the chains fell from his hands. The angel then said, ‘Put on your belt and sandals.’ After he had done this, the angel next said, ‘Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.’ Peter followed him, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision. They passed through two guard posts one after the other, and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him. It was only then that Peter came to himself. ‘Now I know it is all true’ he said. ‘The Lord really did send his angel and has saved me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were so certain would happen to me.’

Second reading
2 Timothy 4:6-8,17-18

My life is already being poured away as a libation, and the time has come for me to be gone. I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing.

  The Lord stood by me and gave me power, so that through me the whole message might be proclaimed for all the pagans to hear; and so I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from all evil attempts on me, and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Gospel
Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’

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