SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER & PAUL.
1 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. 2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword;
3 and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4 And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5 So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. 6 The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; 7 and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.
8 And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your mantle around you and follow me.”
9 And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.10 When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him.11 And Peter came to himself, and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.”
2 Timothy 4:6-8,17-19
6 For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
THE BOOK OF ACTS records the death of James at the hands of Roman soldiers and the arrest and imprisonment of Peter. It was indeed a troubling violent period of percecution against the infant Church that required intercessory prayers by the people of God! By divine intervention Peter was escorted, whisked out of prison by an angel and his shackles broken unbeknownst to the four squads of soldiers who guarded him.
Upon Peters awakening from a state of suspended animation, he is convinced that Jesus intervened and thwarted the expectations of the Jewish leadership who desired his death! To be sure, Peter was eventually crucified upsidedown after fulfilling his vocation. His burial site became a place of prayer intercession and a church was build over his grave. In about 1930 Peters remains were excavated and placed under the altar of St Peters basilica in Rome for veneration by God’s people.
THE EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY is a private letter from Paul whereby he memorialized his final state of incarceration and his victorious spiritual demeanor that display his sense of victory and triumph. This period of Paul’s incarceration was a time of self reflection, purification and meditation, giving glory to God and offering up everything to Christ Jesus.
THE GOSPEL READING immortalize that propitious day when Simon Bar-Jona by divine inspiration recognized and declared publicly that Jesus was the ‘Khristos’ meaning the anointed Messiah. This illumination of faith saw our Lord renaming Simon Bar-Jona and identify him as the ‘rock’ upon which the Church was to be established! Paul would later affirm that the “household of the living God is the Church, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.” 1 Tim 3:15 Paul herewith tacitly connect the Church institution with Peters foundational role!
It is no small matter and thus worthy of reinforcement that Christ is indeed present and living in each Church in the Tabernacle in the form of super substantial consecrated Holy bread behind the altar below the cross of sacrifice for us the people to adore and worship unto eternal life. We are called to pray for the successor of Peter, Papa Francis that the Lord will aid him to navigate the Church during this difficult time in the life of God’s people. Our faith is being tested which is all the more reason that we make prayerful time to meditate on the wounds of Him who died for us, so that our shackles of bondage may be broken and we may be rock steady in our faith!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 34:2-9
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.8 O taste and see that the LORD is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him! 9 O fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want!
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days
2 thoughts on “ON THIS ROCK…”
thank you so much for all the great updates on a regular basis
may i please request that you remove my details from your Database as I’m Born Again, Spirit Filled, Bible Believing Daughter of the Most High King…. Jesus is His Name.
I’m actively involved in ministry in our church. Church on the Rise…. Apostolic Faith Mission church of SA in Bloubergstrand. SA
May our Dear Lord, continue to use & bless you and reveal Himself mightily to you in Jesus Precious Name
Thank you for your beautiful testimony. Well wishes and God’s speed.
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