FROM ALL MY TERRORS, THE LORD SET ME FREE (Psalm 34:5)
????Deut 8:2-3, 14b-16a; Psalm 147; 1Cor 10:16-17; John 6:51-58
Today, the Church celebrates with Solemnity the lives of two great pillars of the Church, St. Peter and St. Paul. We refer to them as pillars of the Church in relation to their contribution to the spread of the Gospel to the whole world. St. Peter is referred to as the Apostle to the Jews while St. Paul is that of the Gentiles. Both suffered martyrdom in the process of spreading the gospel.
Some events in the lives of these two great apostles have an important lesson for us – “God’s ways are not our ways” (Isa 55:8-9).
Think of the call of Peter! After labouring all night without succeeding in a profession he knew pretty well, Jesus came forward to tell him to try again. He briefly resisted but later tried with tremendous success to the extent that he got an uncommon promotion from being a fisherman to being a fisher of men (cf. Luke 5:4-11).
As for St. Paul, his venomous zeal for the elimination of Christians was transformed into a redeeming zeal for the propagation of Christianity. Again, his desire to visit the Church in Rome (Rom 1:10) was only answered when Paul was taken to Rome in chains (cf. Acts 23:11; 28:1-16).
In our different life’s events too, we often meet situations that go contrary to what we pray for. Sometimes, we interpret them from the negative point of view, in terms of God’s inability to answer us. In such situations, remember that God’s ways are not like our ways. Your patience will win you your victory.
Besides, the three readings of our Liturgy of today inform us of Gods ability to protect us from any kind of adversity insofar as we trust God as much as these two apostles did.
In the First Reading, Peter was locked up in the prison with less than twenty-four hours to be executed when the angel of the Lord came on rescue mission. At the end, Peter exclaimed, Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting (Acts 12:11).
In the Second Reading, St. Paul gave the testimony of how God protected him throughout his ministry to Gentiles and his belief that God will never stop this drive to protect (cf. 2 Tim 4:17-18).
In the Gospel, Jesus gives the authority to the Apostle Peter, and consequently to his successors, to participate in Gods act of protection and redemption (cf. Matt 16:19).
Hence, in the celebration of these two great men, we equally celebrate Gods redemptive plan for us. We are called to share in that redemptive plan by having total confidence in divine providence. That would help us to avoid treading to places and indulging in things that would take us far away from the love of God.
May God grant all messengers of the Gospel and all missionaries the grace to remain faithful to him and also grant them his protection in all the travails they pass through in the course of preaching the Gospel. Amen
Kindly make out time today, shun all criticisms and pray for peace in the local Church of Ahiara Diocese; for the grace of forgiveness on the part of those who feel hurt and for the of humility and obedience on the agitators.
Have a blessed day ahead. Peace be with you.