This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
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“When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples: “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
What does God think of me? When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”, He was asking a very dangerous question. What will they say? What will He think? How will this change their idea of Him?
But Christ wasn’t as concerned about what others thought of Him as He was about what His Father thought of Him. He lived His entire life close to the Father and accomplished the mission His Father gave to Him. That was more than enough for Him.
So, let’s ask the dangerous question: Do you find yourself too concerned about what others think of you? If so, then stop doing that. It’s so unfair to yourself. It’s also unfair to those who you may ask. Better to ask yourself what you think of yourself. Right?
That’s the worst thing you could ever do! It’s too subjective. Too close to ground zero. Depending on your psychology, you could either be too harsh with yourself (and think of yourself as worthless) or you could be too easy on yourself (and think you can do no wrong).
No! The best thing you could ever do is ask the Lord what He thinks of you.
Now we come to the beauty of today’s solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, two sinners who did something about their sinfulness.
Peter said to Jesus: “Lord, depart from me, for I am a sinful man” (cf. Lk 5:8). How often do I ask the Lord to leave me, to let me be? How often do I think the Lord has abandoned me or forgotten me? Think no more. Jesus said to Peter: “Follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men” (cf. Mt 4:19).
Paul was a living nightmare for the early Church. He persecuted Christians wherever he went. But rather than destroy him, the Lord converted, and he went on to become the greatest preacher of love the world has ever known. He wrote, “Love is patient, love is kind…It keeps no record of wrong doings. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (cf. 1Cor 13:4-8).
How did Paul come up with such a beautiful definition of love? Simple. He asked the Lord what He thought of him and this is what He was inspired to write. I’m sure Paul was pleased with it, especially the part about keeping no record of wrong doings?
Read the lives of the Saints to know what the Lord thinks of you. Pray, and the Lord will let you know. Don’t ask anyone. Ask the Lord. Read the documents of the Church. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. All these words are God’s words to us. What can change may change but what cannot change will never change.
It’s time we live our lives and complete our mission. It’s time we get rid of the one thing that ruins lives, sleep, blood pressure and peace: SIN.
Let’s be like the saints and do something about it! Let’s tear this wall down!
I have kept the faith. Peter and Paul lived life to the full, and though their lives ended tragically, they ended well. I have always found strength in Paul’s last letter to Timothy. It is Paul’s Last Will and Testament.
“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.”
Wow! Notice: There isn’t a hint of regret, anger, resentment or bitterness towards God in Paul’s words. How often do I feel like that when I don’t get what I pray for?
Pray for holiness!
Prayers and the World Cup. I need to pray more and pray wiser. I need to stop asking the Lord for “favors.” For the past two weeks I’ve been praying for one thing, and the Lord has not given it to me. Does He not care about me and my things? Does He not listen to me? Well, I’ve been praying that Brazil loses in the World Cup. AND IT HASN’T HAPPENED!!! What is going on??? The same thing that went on with Saints Peter and Paul. They came to realize that God’s story is bigger than themselves. This is not easy to accept, but it is truer and wiser and much better than anything I could ever pray for.
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. Paul understands that the story of salvation will go on without Him. He was the greatest, but others will come after him, and they must.
“I have competed well” means I have avoided sin and have been more generous than I ever imagined being. “I have finished the race” means I never stopped praying. “I have kept the faith” means I have been a loyal and obedient follower of the Lord.
His story must be the story of my life.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us!
Heavenly Father, give us the grace and strength to live our lives closer to you and to accomplish the mission given by you. We ask this through your Son, our Lord. Amen. (88)
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- mt 16: 13 -20