Monday, Jun. 29th 2020

Monday of the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Today's Mass Readings

 

Now we have the celebration of the two greatest Christian apostles. These two men, despite their weaknesses and shortcomings, helped to lay the foundation that the Church was built upon. It is funny to note that Peter and Paul didn’t seem to get along while they were alive. St. Paul even challenged Peter when he started to avoid contact with Gentiles (see Galatians 2:11-14). This just goes to show that people who don’t get along can still go on to do amazing things.

We have a story of two lay brothers in our community that would not get along. The reasons why are hard to know. There’s the story that one monk had the custom of kissing the feet of Jesus on a Crucifix in a common area. The other monk started to hang the crucifix higher, little by little. One day he asked this monk “Brother, are you getting shorter?” These two were Peter and Paul to each other. Ironically, these two cantankerous monks ended up being buried next to each other!

Saints Peter and Paul, being in the same Solemnity together, show how God works through those we don’t expect. St. Peter is guided out of his prison cell by an angel in today’s first reading. How appropriate to think that we never know the “angels” in our life who God will help us through. St. Paul wrote in Second Corinthians how he drew his strength from the Lord.

We often, even without admitting it, draw our strength from the wrong sources. We might draw our strength only from a group of like-minded friends who may not challenge us enough. We may want to draw our strength from achievements, careers, romance, or even wanting to help others. These are all not bad in themselves. The hard truth is that these goods don’t suffice to give us long-lasting strength. A soul can never find rest in a closed circle. We are called by Christ to open our hearts continually to others, to pour out our souls “as a libation.” This is hard to do; yet it strengthens our hearts when we give fully of ourselves. Then we, like Peter, can say with full confidence to Jesus “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”

Question: Which apostle do you identify more with; Peter or Paul? Why? What traits do they have that you admire, what weaknesses (of theirs) can you sympathize?

Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB

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