Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

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Gospel Reflection for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul – Sunday June 29th 2014

Full scripture for this Sunday is available on the Catholic Ireland website. Daily Scripture is also available. Our parish Prayers of the Faithful for this Sunday are made available on the Dublin Diocesan website.


When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets’.

‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God’.

Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’

Matthew 16:13-19


Today we celebrate christian leadership within the church. One of the big messages of leadership from Pope Francis is about the mercy of God:

“Before repentance, “the righteousness of God… is transformed into mercy, and forgiveness.” But first we must be ashamed of our sins. It is true, none of us have killed anyone, but many small things, so many everyday sins, everyday… And when one thinks: ‘But what, but what a tiny heart I have: I did this against the Lord’. Being ashamed before God is a grace, it is the grace of being sinners.

PopeFrancis_Vatican Radio Website Image“The merciful man and the woman have a wide, wide open heart: They always forgive others and think about their own sins. ‘But you saw what he did?’. ’But I’ve had enough with what I have done and I will not interfere!’ This is the path of mercy which we have to seek. But if all of us, if all peoples, individuals, families, communities, if we all we had this attitude, what peace there would be in the world, how much peace in our hearts! For mercy leads us to peace. Always remember: ‘Who am I to judge? ‘. Be ashamed and open wide your heart. May the Lord give us this grace.’ These were words of the Pope at a morning homily.

Mercy and Peace
Interesting that he links mercy and peace. Real peace, with negotiation, is based on justice for all and mercy covering past relationships. Both Peter and Paul found that in their leadership of their various local churches.

Lord make us instruments of peace. Help us towards mercy in our hearts to all.

Donal Neary SJ

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