June 29, 2020
by Nicky Santos, S.J.
Creighton University's Heider College of Business
click here for photo and information about the writer

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles - Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 591

Acts 12:1-11
Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Matthew 16:13-19

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Enjoying Vacation Time

But who do you say I am?

One message that we get from today’s gospel reading is that ultimately each one of us needs to ask ourselves who Jesus is for us. We might have heard about Jesus through our parents, teachers, priests, church teaching, and reading the Bible. But if we let it just remain there, our faith life will be very superficial. We might go through the various rituals and observances without allowing them to really impact us. Instead, seeking to know who Jesus is for us, takes our faith life to a deeper level, and makes our relationship with Jesus much stronger. Further, in the process of trying to discover who Jesus is for us, we become aware that we come to this knowledge not through our efforts or intelligence but rather as a graced gift from above. This is what Jesus was implying when he tells Peter that his awareness of who Jesus was, came to him from above, and not through Peter’s human effort. However, this same Peter, who Jesus in today’s gospel refers to as the rock on which he will build his church, a few verses later (v. 23, not included in today’s reading) is called Satan by Jesus. This is because Peter cannot accept that Jesus has to suffer, die, and be raised. Peter is thinking, as Jesus accuses him, not as God does but as humans do. But how does one think as God does? I think the first step is by letting go of our thinking and desires and surrendering to God, thus allowing grace to burst forth in our lives. But who do you say I am? You are Christ, Son of the Living God. Blessed are you, Simon, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Heavenly Father. 

In today’s second reading we read Paul testifying that the Lord stood by him and gave him strength. And in Galatians 2:19b-20, Paul writes “I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.” As we celebrate the feast of saints Peter and Paul today, we are given the example of two people who were, in human terms, weak and frail, but who through God’s grace were made strong and powerful witnesses of God’s love for us revealed in Jesus. May this same grace transform our lives as well so that we might be passionate advocates for a world that is free from racism, exclusion, and any form of injustice. For this is the world that as disciples of Jesus we are called to build.

Happy Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. 

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