FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Wednesday 29 June 2022 13th Week of Ordinary Time
SAINTS PETER AND PAUL
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.” (Matthew 16: 13-19)
How shall I live this Word?
On the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the liturgy presents us with the episode of Peter’s confession according to the evangelist Matthew. The characteristic of this story is the long praise, absent in the parallel versions of Mark and Luke, that the Master addresses to Simon, not yet renamed Peter, for having answered the question about His identity well, “Who do you say that I am?” By saying: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” the fisherman of Capernaum demonstrates that he has an open spirit, capable of welcoming the revelation of the Father. On His part, Jesus, although aware of the fact that Peter does not really know the meaning of what he affirms, appoints him as the first Pope in the history of the Church.
How much good this story does to us. The Lord seeks in His disciples not the ability to understand everything without error and with perfect faith, but the openness of heart and mind towards His person and His Word.
Lord, through the intercession of Saints Peter and Paul, help us to fight the closure and pride that prevent us from listening to your Word that illuminates and fills us with meaning. So be it!
The Voice of Pope Francis Angelus 29 June 2021
“Looking at the lives of Peter and Paul, an objection may arise, both were witnesses, but not always exemplary. They were sinners! Peter denied Jesus and Paul persecuted Christians. But here is the point, they also gave testimony of their falls. Saint Peter, for example, could have said to the Evangelists, “Do not write down the mistakes I have made.” …. But no, his story comes out naked, it comes out raw from the Gospels, with all his miseries. So does St. Paul, who in his letters tells about his mistakes and weaknesses. This is where the witness begins, from the truth about himself, from the fight against his own duplicity and falsehood. The Lord can do great things through us when we are not careful to defend our image, but we are transparent with Him and with the others.
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