READINGS for 2007-06-29

Didache | Companion | Sabbath


Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles



I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:7

I was the one who made arrangements for my dad’s interment. I went to the office of the Memorial Park to settle our dues, which included the payment for the marker. I was asked by the office staff to choose the design for the marker – the font to be used, the layout and the epitaph. The staff showed me a list of possible epitaphs but they were so common and ordinary. She told me that I could make my own.
      It took me several weeks before I was able to choose the perfect epitaph for my dad’s marker. I wanted it to be special – one that would best describe how he lived his life. Out of the many Bible verses, I chose the verse from 2 Timothy 4:7. I didn’t understand then why I kept coming back to this verse.
      These were the words spoken by Paul as he neared the end of his life. Paul had been faithful to his call. He faced his death calmly, knowing he would be rewarded in heaven. My dad may not be like Paul but I can confidently say that he had lived a righteous
      Before I forget. Today’s second reading was also the same reading on the day my father died – June 29, 2004. Today is his third death anniversary. Judith C.

Are you keeping the faith?

When I reach the end of the road, may I look back and be confident that I lived a righteous life.



Acts 12:1-11

Persecution can be expected if we take up the call to be a disciple of Jesus. How can we expect anything else? If the record of Jesus and the first 12 Apostles is anything to go by then we ought to expect to be martyred. John the brother of James was the only one of them to die a natural death. I doubt any of us will be martyred, but we will certainly be called to suffer in our efforts to proclaim the Gospel. Suffering takes many forms and when united to Christ’s suffering becomes a form of salvific intercession. God can and does use all things for the good of His Kingdom.
1 About that time King Herod laid hands upon some members of the church to harm them. 2 He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword, 3 and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews he proceeded to arrest Peter also. (It was [the] feast of Unleavened Bread.) 4 Herod had him taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each. He intended to bring him before the people after Passover. 5 Peter thus was being kept in prison, but prayer by the church was fervently being made to God on his behalf. 6 On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter, secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. 7 Suddenly the angel of the LORD stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly.” The chains fell from his wrists. 8 The angel said to him, “Put on your belt and your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Put on your cloak and follow me.” 9 So he followed him out, not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first guard, then the second, and came to the iron gate leading out to the city, which opened for them by itself. They emerged and made their way down an alley, and suddenly the angel left Peter. 11 Then Peter recovered his senses and said, “Now I know for certain that the LORD sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting.”


Psalm 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R: The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

1 [2] I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall be ever in my mouth. 2 [3] Let my soul glory in the LORD; the lowly will hear me and be glad. (R) 3 [4] Glorify the LORD with me, let us together extol his name. 4 [5] I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. (R) 5 [6] Look to him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame. 6 [7] When the poor one called out, the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him. (R) 7 [8] The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 [9] Taste and see how good the LORD is; blessed the man who takes refuge in him. (R)


2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

Paul sees his upcoming martyrdom as a shedding of blood for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Paul is utterly convinced that whatever happens to him God will use it to benefit the work of the Gospel and thus it is worthwhile. He is not afraid of death because he knows it is a necessary step towards the gift of eternal life. Do you and I have as firm a belief as this in the knowledge of God’s will for our lives? I hope so. If not, let us pray that we will grow in trust of God’s will for our lives, whatever it may involve.
6 For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. 8 From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the LORD, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance. 17 But the LORD stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The LORD will rescue me from the every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever! Amen.


Matthew 16:13-19

Peter is the spokesman of the Apostles. He is clearly presented as the leader of the group. It is thus that the Church has discerned (along with other Scriptures) the need for a hierarchical leadership in the Church. Those who lead should never hide behind their authority but exercise it as a service to the People of God, the Body of Christ. Leadership is always about service and people before it is about power and law. Let us pray that our Church leaders will never forget this truth.
13 When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. 18 And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Wisdom 14-16
my reflections
God can and does use all things for the good of His Kingdom.



God’s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





Blessed Anne of Bartholomew

Anne was born on October 10, 1549 at Almeneral, Spain. She belonged to a peasant family, living as a shepherdess in  her youth. By the age of 20, she joined the order of the Carmelites as a lay sister. She ran errands and performed tasks necessary for the community. Blessed Anne became good friends with Saint Teresa of Avila. Both visited and helped the community of nuns in their spiritual life. When Saint Teresa died, Anne continued her vocation.

The superiors opened a new convent in Paris, France. Anne was one of the five nuns chosen to head the convent. When the other four were assigned to the Netherlands, Anne served as the community s prioress. Eventually, Anne was also sent to the Netherlands. She helped in the establishment of new convents, visiting Mons then Antwerp. Young women who entered the convent thought of Anne as a saint.

Anne died in 1626 in Antwerp and was proclaimed blessed by Pope Benedict XV.

Saints Valerius and Rufinus

Valerius and Rufinus were martyrs who died in c.287. There were two stories told on how these saints were martyred.

The first story was based on the Benedictine of Ramsgate. According to it, Valerius and Rufinus were Roman missionaries. On their mission to evangelize Gauls, the two were captured then martyred.

According to Husenbeth, on the other hand, both saints worked as overseers of the imperial taxes in Soissons. They were actually Christians who fasted regularly and gave alms to those in need. When Bagaude was attacked and defeated by Emperor Maximian Herculius, the emperor left behind his appointed praefectuspraetorii, Rictus Varius. He ordered the latter to kill all Christians ; such that, when he cleared the area near Rheims, he moved to Soissons. Rictus Varius ordered that Valerius and Rufinus be brought before him. Before his men reached them, the two were already able to hide in the woods. Unfortunately, not long after, they were discovered, tortured and finally beheaded.




REFLECTION QUESTION: We do not have to be the same to be united and effective. Unity is about similarities, also about complementarities.

We rejoice, O Father, because of the different gifts we receive from You. May our differences not cause our disunity; rather, help us complement one another by the variety of gifts we contribute for the life of the Church. Do not let us be threatened by our divergences and bless our efforts to converge together in Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Sts. Peter and Paul, apostles and martyrs, pray for us.

Sts. Peter and Paul were unlikely bedfellows. They were like two opposite forces. But they were not necessarily opposing each other. On the contrary, they complemented each other very well.
      Peter maintained tradition while Paul symbolized a driving force to adapt and expand the Gospel to as far as he could go. Peter was the centripetal force that sought for the center while Paul was the centrifugal force that reached out to various cultures. They represented two complementary aspects of the Church.
      The Church must always remain rooted in the tradition of the Apostles even as it must continue reaching out to all peoples. Without the centripetal force symbolized by Peter, the Church will become fragmented. Without the centrifugal drive of Paul, the Church will not become anything but a Jewish sect in Jerusalem.
      Because we are the Church, what is true of the Church is true of our spiritual lives. We must hold on to the center, to the core of our faith: relationship with Christ. This relationship is the rock that fastens all the changes in our life brought about by sincere desire to respond to the needs and signs of the modern world. Like Paul, we also need to expand our horizon and inculturate the Faith.
      Peter and Paul are two pillars of the Church. They were not the same but the Church stands firmly upon them until today. Fr. Bobby T.

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