The Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Acts 12: 1-11    2 Tim. 4: 6-8, 17-18     Mathew 16: 13-19

Theme: The faithfulness of God

Today the church celebrates the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, two great Ancestors of our faith. St. Peter was given the keys of the kingdom by Jesus; he is the rock, on which the church was built. He was the leader of the college of the Apostles and the leader of the church. On the other hand, St. Paul is known as the Apostle of the Gentiles. They both worked very hard for the propagation of the good news, and willingly gave their lives for their faith in God. God never forgets our faithfulness to him in our relationship with him.

 

In the 1st reading from the Acts of the Apostle, we see how the Angel of God rescued Peter from the hands of Herod. This goes to show us that God is ever faithful and does not disappoint all those who trust in him. He will always stand by us in any situation that we find ourselves; he will never disappoint his people. Just like he did not disappoint Peter in today’s 1st reading. The question is, do we believe that God will come through for us when it matters most in our life, or we still have doubts in our mind whether he will do it for us? We must always remember that faithfulness is God.

 

In the 2nd reading from St. Pauls 2nd letter to Timothy, we see a man who is convinced about the life he has lived, and he is looking forward to the reward that awaits him. The assertion of St. Paul in todays 2nd reading is a challenge to you and me as followers of Christ, he is certain about his destination after his earthly pilgrimage. This is because from the point he encountered God on his way to Damascus, he gave everything to ensure that the word of God spread to as many cities and people as possible. That is why he made a lot of missionary journeys, visiting different groups of people. In the same way, we are all encouraged to live for God, so that we can comfortably make the same statement as St. Paul without fear of contradiction. This simply means that we must be mindful of the kind of life we lead. Our lifestyle must be good and always pleasing to God.

 

The two Apostles whose Solemnity we celebrate today, understood very well who Jesus is, in a very intimate way, and we see this in the practice of their faith and conviction in God: especially after enjoying the forgiveness of God. After the encounter of Paul with God on his way to Damascus, everything changed for him, and he embraced the teachings of Christ whole heartedly. In the case of St. Peter, answering correctly who Jesus is, attracted the Blessing of Jesus, and this led to Peter been given a big responsibility to lead the Apostles and the church. Also, when Peter denied Jesus three times, he still forgave him, even though he told him before it happened.

Dearly beloved in Christ, as we celebrate these great men of faith, we pray that God will grant us the grace of their kind of zeal about the things of God. May God bless us as we do this, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

 

 

 

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Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp
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