A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy 4: 6-8, 17-18
For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen The word of the Lord
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 16:13-19
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." The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: "But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it."
" You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Today we celebrate the feast of Sts Peter and Paul.
St Peter and St Paul are the two pillars of the Catholic Church. They initially were enemies, but eventually became friends.
They both lived during the initial moments of the expansion of the Catholic Church and they both gave up their lives in loyalty and love for Jesus. Their mission was of great significance for the life of the Church. They did their work well. They both finished the race.
St Peter was a fisherman and walked with Jesus personally from the beginning of his ministry. St Paul was a scholar and personally persecuted the young church, encountering Jesus after the resurrection. St Peter and St Paul argued with each other and many times did not see eye to eye. They both were imprisoned and were miraculously released from jail . St Peter denied Jesus. St Paul persecuted Jesus. They both, however, said yes to Jesus. They both were filled with the Holy Spirit and they both grew and changed. They became more like Jesus as they abandoned their lives to serving Jesus and willingly gave themselves up to suffering in the name of Jesus.
They experienced God's faithfulness to their yes to Jesus.
St Peter is portrayed with the keys to the Kingdom of heaven and St Paul is depicted holding the sword that served to behead him.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. We confess to the world who you are . You gave St Peter the primacy over your church. Your priests , assisted by the power of the Holy Spirit , need many prayers . They must be strong for all your church. Help them say "yes" to you and forever grow in love of you. Rescue them from every evil threat. Amen.
Pray for Priests
Priests Always Prayer Apostolate (PAPA)