READING OF THE DAY
First reading from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles
In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He had him taken into custody and put in prison
under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each.
He intended to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.
On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial,
Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying,
“Get up quickly.”
The chains fell from his wrists.
The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.”
He did so.
Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.”
So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
They passed the first guard, then the second,
and came to the iron gate leading out to the city,
which opened for them by itself.
They emerged and made their way down an alley,
and suddenly the angel left him.
Then Peter recovered his senses and said,
“Now I know for certain
that the Lord sent his angel
and rescued me from the hand of Herod
and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”
Second reading from the Letter to Timothy
2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18
I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.
The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.
GOSPEL OF THE DAY
From the Gospel according to Matthew
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.”
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Mass during the Day
God's Word For Everyone
Dear People of God,
Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, two pillars of the Church. Today's word of God speaks of how each person needs to profess his faith in God.
During Jesus Christ's public life of preaching the Gospel, he asked his disciples: "Who do you say that I am?" That is also the question for every Christian. Let each person put their conscience before God, and honestly express their faith in Jesus Christ, saying: Who is Jesus to me? Is he an ordinary man, a prophet, a messenger or just a miracle worker, or is he a God of love who came to Earth to save mankind?
Peter professed his belief in Jesus Christ: "You are the Christ, the Son of God who came to Earth and became man". This confession was not made by Peter himself, but was graced and revealed by God the Father himself. This confession is so accurate and true to the person of Jesus Christ.
Why was Saint Peter known about this revelation by God? Yes, it is because God chose to call and place Peter as the head of the Church. When Peter or any other prophet, messenger or shepherd is placed by God in His work, as the head to shepherd the flock of God, they will always be protected and embraced by God from evil spirits. Like the image of Peter when imprisoned in a dungeon, God sent his angel to save Peter from prison while the iron doors were still locked. Only the power of God can do it to always embrace and protect Peter, as well as all the prophets of God chosen by God, who are given angels by God to always accompany and protect when preaching the Gospel.
This is also a message to all those who follow God that: when being harassed by evil, also believe that God always accompanies, preserves, embraces and protects people from all evil spirits. But in order to be preserved by God, the disciple himself must have absolute confidence in the saving work of God the loving Father, and must fear Him alone.
Besides Saint Peter, the Church also has a great saint of the Gentiles, that is, Saint Paul. Paul was chosen and placed by God to be the pillar of all members of God's people, especially those of the Gentiles who did not know God. He was chosen by God to bring back the sheep that were lost back to God.
Through the preaching and life of Saint Paul, the Gentiles received God's salvation. Paul himself had to fight the evil of the world much. He had to overcome obstacles, difficulties, trials and had to give up everything to choose God alone, whom he himself sought and killed to extinguish the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
But those who are chosen by God, He will purify them into a useful instrument for His saving work. Saint Paul was given the grace of conversion by God, now he becomes a great saint, a pillar in God's saving work along with Peter.
Paul was also revealed by God to the Good News of his salvation, so that Paul's life was incorporated into the body of Christ; and brought down the love of Jesus Christ crucified to save humanity for the lost sheep. And Saint Paul left everyone a shining example of steadfast faith, that is: he fought the noble fight, the righteous fight to have Christ. It was he who was born, placed to be an instrument to save souls to God.
Today's word of God invites everyone to look at two living heroic examples: Saints Peter and Saint Paul: Fight the battle of this world to have Jesus Christ who is God at the end. That is the highest reward that man needs to achieve. God always invites everyone: confess our faith in the one God, the God of love, the Savior of all mankind as the two images of Saints Peter and Saint Paul have won the crown, that is Jesus Christ. Whoever has God in him will receive salvation, will dwell in the house of God the Father, and be at His right hand.
Thanks be to God. Amen.