Feast of Sts. Peter & Paul

Matthew 16:13-19
Acts 12:1-11 / Ps 34 / 2Tm 4:6-8.17-18

Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
(Matthew 16:17)

Thank Lord for the opportunity
Of being stewards of Your kingdom;
The Word of God as our ministry,
With Your authority and wisdom.

When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’ And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’ (Matthew 16:13-19)

Reflection

Today is the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the greatest evangelists of the Church. St. Peter was just an unlettered fisherman from Galilee, one of the poorer regions in Palestine. But when he proclaimed the Word of God at Pentecost, more than 3,000 people were converted and baptized. St. Paul was the foremost persecutor of the early Church, but when he encountered Jesus on the way to Damascus, he became the Lord’s most powerful instrument of evangelization, establishing churches all over the great Roman empire. These two great saints were empowered by the Holy Spirit.

The important things that we have received in our lives did not come from flesh and blood, but from God, His Holy Spirit, and the words of Jesus Christ in Scripture. Even those that we heard from our parents, teachers, peers or elders in our community were divinely inspired. They were employed as God’s mouthpieces.

A good speaker or life sharer never feels that he has a natural gift for evangelization or witnessing, or for teaching. He believes that whatever wisdom or discernment he displays in the podium is a tool that the Spirit lends him to be able to deliver God’s message to his audience. In fact, when delivering the Word of God, a good speaker trembles in humble fear, and prays for God’s boldness and enlightenment for such a daunting task. Like the heart of St. Peter, God looks with favor on humble hearts, and through them, the weak and lowly, He imparts His wisdom, so that when they speak, their listeners will acknowledge the Spirit’s power working through them. We believe our Lord’s words that “flesh and blood has not revealed (these to us), but (our) heavenly Father.” (Mt.16:17) What a joy it is to know that like the disciples of Jesus, we too are being sent by the Lord in spreading the Good News of salvation.
Tomorrow, yours truly has been given the privilege of giving a talk on “Tithing” at the Christian Life Program of BCBP Tagum, which is also hosting a regional breakfast meeting for the first time. Please pray for our safe travel to Tagum city tomorrow morning, and for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit in delivering this talk on tithing, a vital tool in the work of spreading the Word of God. Thank you.

Grant me the grace to listen well, Lord, when Your heralds are delivering Your message in their talks or sharing. How can we understand Your Word if all we do is plead with You to help us solve our problems? Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.

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