FEAST OF STS. PETER & PAUL

My sisters and brothers in Christ,
This past week we had Corpus Christi, then Saint John the Baptist, then the Sacred Heart and now Saints Peter and Paul. All of these solemnities in one week. This rarely happens and when it does, we can sense the importance of the mysteries pointing to Christ and the mysteries pointing to Christ present in people. Corpus Christi is an echo of Holy Thursday and the Sacred Heart is an echo of Good Friday. Salvation is a gift that comes throughthe selfgiving of our Lord Jesus. Saint John the Baptist points to Jesus but never becomes a follower of Jesus. Saint Peter denies Jesus, even when he is a follower.

Saint Paul denies Jesus and is present for the stoning of Saint Stephen.
The mystery of crea
tion and the mystery of salvation touch each one of us every day, no matter where we are on our journey of faith. Today more
and more Christians are in prison or are being persecuted for their faith. Those of us who are not persecuted and who do not have to suffer much for our faith often become weak and complacent.

The readings today show us the trials of both Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The first reading, from the Acts of the Apostles, speaks of the death of Saint James and the arrest of Saint Peter.
This happens years after Peter has denied Jesus and then asks pardon. Now Peter is strong and willing to suffer for the Lord. In this account, ano-ST-PETER-facebook angel rescues Peter on this occasion. Eventually Peter dies as a martyr in Rome, confessing his Lord. These two saints are together because they
represent early authority structures in the Church. Peter exercises some kind of role as the first among the apostles. Paul is called by Jesus and shows us that other followers can challenge Peter–but in faith and always accepting that there is a role for the service of leadership.
The structures of our Church have evolved but are not created out of nothing. It is important on this great Solemnity of Peter and Paul to see the establishment of authority, its continuity and its evolvement.
The spiritual lesson today is to follow Jesus and to give our lives. Another lesson is to live within the Church even if we have disagreements.
Touch us, Lord Jesus, and draw us into Your Kingdom.

Father Jesus