Monday, XIII Week of Ordinary Time (Solemnity), Year A

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us

Readings: 1st: Acts 12: 1-11; Ps 33; 2nd: 2 Tim 4: 6-8.17-18; Gos: Jn 16: 13-19

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today, Monday of the thirteenth week of ordinary time, the Church celebrates the solemnity of two great pillars of our faith, Saints Peter and Paul. Their impact in our lives as Christians cannot be over emphasized.

So, what we celebrate today is faithfulness, courage, humility, and missionary zeal. These are the qualities that characterized the life of these iconic figures.

Today’s first reading narrates the story of the mysterious rescue of Peter from prison. There is something spectacular about this rescue.

While Peter was being incarcerated, “the Church prayed fervently to God on his behalf.” He was never alone in the battle. Rather, the entire church united with him in prayer. Of course, God heard their prayer and acted quickly.

In the second reading, Paul confidently announced: “I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.” These words remind us that, their mission was not an easy one. Rather, it was a constant battle ground.

The lives of these two apostles that we honor today were filled with ups and downs. It was characterized by personal sins, denials, weaknesses, loneliness, despair, and of course, much persecutions.

How did they succeed? At a certain point in time in their life, they realized that the battle was not solely theirs, but the Lord’s. As Paul puts it: “The grace of God is sufficient for me” (2 Cor 12:9). So, in addition to working very hard, they always relied on this grace till the end.

They were not created perfect. In spite of this, they moved on. At every point in their journey and mission, they relied on God and the Holy Spirit for inspiration and direction.

Of course, the Lord stood by them, and gave them power, so that through them, the message of salvation was proclaimed to the ends of the earth, among Jews and gentiles.

So, as we honor these two pillars of our faith today, let us ask God to keep us strong and faithful like them at all times as we navigate the difficult waters of his mission for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us

Peace be with you all!

Maranatha!

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