St Peter and St Paul, Apostles (HD) (Red)
Thursday, June 28th, 2018 (Transferred)
EZEKIEL 34:11-16; PSALM 87; 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8; JOHN 21:15-19
Almighty God, your blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you in their death as in their life. Grant that your Church, inspired by their teaching and example, and made one by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Prayer over the Gifts
Almighty God, receive all we offer you on this feast of the apostles. Help us to know our own weakness and to rejoice in your saving power, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer After Communion
Heavenly Father, renew the life of your Church by the power of this sacrament. May the breaking of bread and the teaching of the apostles keep us united in your love, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF EZEKIEL
Thus says the Lord God: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out. As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land. I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.
REFRAIN Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of our God.
On the holy mountain stands the city he has founded; the Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.
Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of our God. R
I count Egypt and Babylon among those who know me; behold Philistia, Tyre, and Ethiopia: in Zion were they born.
Of Zion it shall be said, “Everyone was born in her, and the Most High himself shall sustain her.” R
The Lord will record as he enrols the peoples, “These also were born there.”
The singers and the dancers will say, “All my fresh springs are in you.” R
A READING FROM THE SECOND LETTER OF PAUL TO TIMOTHY
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully. As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”
Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles
29 June Holy Day
According to a well-attested tradition, the apostles Peter and Paul suffered martyrdom at Rome around the year 64. It is said that Paul as a Roman citizen was granted the right to be beheaded by a sword, but that Peter endured crucifixion, being nailed to the cross upside down. We cannot say whether they died on the same day, but from very ancient times their martyrdoms have been commemorated together.
When Luke wrote the Book of Acts, he focused the first half of his account almost entirely on Peter and the role he played in the founding of the Church. This part of the story reaches its climax with Peter’s visit to Caesarea, where a heavenly vision gave him courage to break with apostolic custom and baptize a family of pagans without requiring them submit to Jewish regulations. At this point, Luke shifted his attention to Paul and devoted the rest of his account to Paul’s missionary journeys — a story which culminates with Paul’s arrival at Rome, the very heart of the pagan world. Thus, in the Book of Acts, Peter and Paul were like runners in a relay race; it was as if Peter carried the gospel during the first lap, then handed it over to Paul, who finished the course.
A rather different story emerges from Paul’s own Letter to the Galatians. Paul presented a picture of conflict, with himself as a loner pitted against Peter and the other leaders of the church at Jerusalem. The two parties eventually met and agreed to a mutual recognition of ministries. But a short time later Peter appeared to go back on this agreement, and Paul rebuked him to his face. In the ensuing controversy Paul was isolated; a number of his own associates deserted him, and he went off on his own.
Paul’s Letter to the Galatians is the only first-hand information that we have; and so far as it goes, Peter and Paul are frozen in a history of fierce antagonism. Today’s feast bears witness that, even if their disagreement was not resolved in the realm of human history, their martyrdom united them in the paschal victory of Jesus Christ.