Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Solemnity, Sts. Peter and Paul, apostles
June 29, 2006
Solemnity, Sts. Peter and Paul, apostles
Thursday 12th Week in Ordinary Time - Yr II
In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to
harm them. He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, and
when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest
Peter also. -It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.- He had him taken
into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four
soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after
Passover. Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the Church
was fervently being made to God on his behalf. On the very night before
Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was
sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch
on the prison. Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light
shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him,
saying, "Get up quickly." The chains fell from his wrists. The angel
said to him, "Put on your belt and your sandals." He did so. Then he
said to him, "Put on your cloak and follow me." So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he
thought he was seeing a vision. They passed the first guard, then the
second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened
for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and
suddenly the angel left him. Then Peter recovered his sense and said,
"Now I know for certain that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me
from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been
2 TIMOTHY 4:6-8, 17-18
I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of
my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the
race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness
awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that
day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.
The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the
proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And
I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every
evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom. To him be
glory forever and ever. Amen.
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his
disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" They replied,
"Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one
of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living
God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly
Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will
build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail
against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever
you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on
earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Imagine the following situation. On the one side, the Roman army
assigns four squads of soldiers to guard the prisoner. The whole
operation takes place inside a walled compound with a locked iron gate.
On the other side, the prisoner's friends pray. There's no contest. The
outcome seems to be clear. Peter hasn't got a chance!
Today's reading reveals how the conflict ended in surprise. The prayers
of the Christian community were answered. The Roman forces didn't take
one important factor into consideration: Peter's friends were praying
for him. And the result of that faith community's fervent prayers? The
power of God intervened. An angel comes and leads Peter to safety.
This Scripture story concretely illustrates the basic Christian
scriptural teaching about prayer. There is no force on earth available
to us that are more powerful than prayer. Prayer works in mysterious
ways that are beyond human expectations.
We look next at Paul, a man who never did things by half-measures. As a
youth he pursued further studies under Gamaliel to become proficient in
the Law. Later, as a Pharisee, he could claim he was an expert in it.
When he thought the followers of Jesus of Nazareth were enemies of the
Law, he persecuted them ruthlessly.
Then Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus. Paul was blinded and
had to grope his way in utter darkness. But in that darkness he groped
his way to Jesus. Was this the Jesus he had been persecuting? How wrong
then he had been! Now he will admit it and humbly ask, "Lord, what do
you want me to do?"(Act 22:10) From then on the violent persecutor
became the ardent apostle. All that he had considered gain until now;
he threw overboard as garbage in order to gain Christ.
He now professes, "For me to live is Christ."(Phil.1: 21) The old
structure is torn down; the magnificent new building is constructed on
Christ. Now, Paul becomes the apostle in the service of the word, the
strenuous fighter for the truth, the founder of churches, the inspired
writer of dynamic letters, the martyr for the sake of the Crucified.
Those long years of preaching Christ, of defending the cause of the
Master, of traveling far and wide, and undergoing all manner of
suffering and opposition blossomed into the Paul we now know, the
gallant apostle of Jesus, who lived only to make Christ known and
There is something very appealing to our weak human nature when we see
a man of such stature as Paul, humbly admitting his mistake, and
launching out with full vigor on a brand new path that he has opened
for all who would follow him. His example tells us that God can draw
good even out of our mistakes, and from one who fought against Christ,
God can make a most fervent follower of the Crucified. The example of
Paul will always lift us up when failure or mistakes weigh us down. As
the saying goes, "God can write straight with crooked line!"
Today we honor both Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Paul, the
Apostle of the Nations. One had denied the Master, the other had
persecuted him. One failed him through weakness and cowardice. The
other failed him through ignorance and prejudice.
We pray ...
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the continued recovery of Aida.
- for the speedy recovery of Cadio.
- for the continued and complete recovery of Ding Vidanes.
- Birthday: Leslie Bernal
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Lucianne Cham
- In Memoriam (+): Rosita Sanchez
- In Memoriam (+): Peter Lim, Sr. (1903 - 1993)
- In Memoriam (+): Peter Lim, Jr.
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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