Liturgy Alive

The liturgical calendar 2020

PETER AND PAUL, Apostles

Description

 Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

 

PETER AND PAUL, Apostles               

 

We Are an Apostolic Church

 

Greeting (See Second Reading)

May the Lord stand by you
and give you power.
May he rescue you from all evil
and bring you safely to his kingdom.
May he always be with you. R/ And also with you.

 

Introduction by the Celebrant

      Today we celebrate with joy the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. They are the two pillars on whom our Lord built his Church and to whom he entrusted the faith. Their own faith had been tested, when Peter denied Christ and Paul persecuted Christ in his disciples. Then their faith was strengthened and they dedicated their whole life to the spread of the gospel. We can learn from them today how to let Christ possess us so much that we live for him and his Church and are even willing to suffer for that faith. Let us give thanks today to the Lord for giving us these great apostles.

 

Penitential Act

We accept the faith of the apostles
but do we really live that faith?
Let us examine ourselves before the Lord.
                        (pause)
When we show little interest
in the struggles of the Church in today’s world,
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

When we criticize the Church too easily
and do little to make it better,
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

When we try to use the Church to serve us
rather than serving the Church,
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord,
and forgive us all our sins.
Make us, your Church,
a true community of faith and love
and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

 

Opening Prayer

United in faith with Peter and Paul,
let us pray to God for fidelity and zeal
                        (pause)
Lord our God, we thank you today
for your apostles Peter and Paul.
Give us their faith and fidelity,
that we may build among us,
as a community of faith and love,
the Church for which they lived and died.
Give us their conviction and courage
to let the whole world share in the Good News
of your Son Jesus Christ,
that he may be everything to all,
now and for ever. R/ Amen.

 

First Reading: The Gospel Cannot Be Chained

      Peter is imprisoned for preaching Christ’s liberating message. While the young Church prays for Peter, God frees his faithful apostle, for the Gospel cannot be chained. 

Reading 1: ACTS 12:1-11

In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He 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.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.

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.
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.
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.”
So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
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 him. 
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.”

 

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

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

 

Second Reading: An Apostle Faithful to the Faithful Lord

      At the end of his life Paul can testify that he has been a faithful witness to the Lord who has been faithful to him and given him strength. Now he looks forward to encountering the Lord for ever.

Reading 2: 2 TM 4:6-8, 17-18

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.
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.

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.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

 Alleluia: MT 16:18

Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Gospel: Peter, the Rock

      Peter, the man of faith who acknowledges Christ as the Messiah, is made the rock on which the Lord builds his Church, which he will never abandon. Peter is for the Church the center of faith, authority and unity.

 Gospel: MT 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
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.
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.
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." 

 

Intercessions

Today let us pray for the Church, the People of God on the march, that we may truly be the Church of Christ. Let us say:

R/ Lord, remember your Church.

–                   For the Church in our time, that the Holy Spirit may guide it through the present pains of renewal, keep it faithful to the Gospel and inspire it to speak its message in the language of our time, let us pray:

R/ Lord, remember your Church.

–                   For the Pope, Peter’s successor, that he may be our rock of faith and the sign of unity in the Church, let us pray:

R/ Lord, remember your Church.

–                   For our bishops, that they may exercise their authority as a service to building community; for priests and religious, that they may bear witness to what they preach by their way of living the gospel, let us pray:

R/ Lord, remember your Church.

–                   For missionaries, that they may proclaim the Gospel as Good News to all and that they may help each people and culture to encounter Christ each in its own way, let us pray: R/ Lord, remember your Church.

–                   For all Christians, that they may have compassionate hearts, open to     all who suffer and are in need, to bring them healing and help, let us pray:

R/ Lord, remember your Church.

–                   For us here present and for all Christian communities, that we may build up one another in faith and love, let us pray:

R/ Lord, remember your Church.

God our Father, your Son promised to be with his Church until the end of time. Let him stay with us always for he is our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.

 

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord our God,
in these signs of bread and wine
you are about to give us Jesus, your Son.
Make us aware
that you let him come among us
not to keep him to ourselves
as a prized possession,
but, like your apostles Peter and Paul,
to take him to all people far and near.
Make your Son recognizable in us,
that all people may praise you.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

With the whole Church of Peter and Paul, with all who are strengthened and united by their faith and with all who are inspired by their missionary zeal, we now join in the sacrifice of our one Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Invitation to the Lord’s Prayer

Concerned, with Peter and Paul,
to make God’s kingdom come to all the world,
we now pray Jesus’ prayer to the Father: R/ Our Father...

 

Deliver Us

Deliver your Church, Lord, from every evil
and grant it freedom and peace.
Help us to build up together,
a community of faith and love,
in which people can recognize the face
of him for whose return in glory
we wait in joyful hope,
our Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

 

Invitation to Communion

This is Christ,
the Son of the living God,
who has the words of eternal life.
To whom else should we go?
Happy are we to be invited
to the table of the Lord. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

 

Prayer after Communion

Lord our God, in Peter and Paul,
two pillars of your Church,
you have exemplified two characteristics
of the body of your Son:
fidelity to the living tradition
and to missionary dynamism.
Let the Spirit of Jesus stay with us
to give always room for both,
that in the diversity of gifts
we may all be united
in one loyalty and one faith,
in Jesus Christ, our Lord. R/ Amen.

 

Blessing

Let us ask for God’s blessing,
that we may be the Church of Peter,
firm in the faith, built on rock,
united as the one body of Christ
which cannot be overcome.
May we also be the Church of Paul,
dynamic, without boundaries,
restless until Christ is known to all.
May God bless you and this one Church:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.

Let us go and be to the whole world
the body of the Lord. R/ Thanks be to God.

 

Commentary

United in one faith

Bishop Joseph Ha, auxiliary bishop of Hong Kong gave a beautiful reflection on the two pillars of the Church – Saints and Peter and Paul. What we celebrate is not just the two great apostles, instead we are celebrating the unity of the Church. Peter and Paul were individuals with totally different characters, social background and life situations. Peter was an illiterate fisherman, while Paul was well educated Pharisee and trained under a renowned Rabbi.

Jesus renamed Simon as Peter which meant Rock – symbolising stability. Paul, on the other hand, is seen always on the move, travelled around and established numerous communities. When they met each other, they quarrelled and fought severely. In Antioch, Paul publicly insulted Peter by calling him a hypocrite (Gal 1:11-14)!

They had more differences than what they had in common. In fact they had just one thing in common: Faith in Jesus as the Messiah – the Son of God who was killed and was risen. As a result, relations between the two apostles were restored. Peter, in his letter, calls Paul “our beloved brother” (2 P 3:15). Together they gave their lives to Christ and today we celebrate their feast together.

The Church is, thus celebrating the unity, in spite of all its diversities. In spite of all the differences we have, the Church invites us to confess our one faith in the Messiah.
By handing over the keys to Peter, Jesus does not charge him to be the doorkeeper of paradise. Instead, he tells him to “become an example to the flock” . He entrusts him to open wide to all the entrance to the knowledge of Christ and of his gospel.

The one who passes through the door opened by Peter with his profession of faith encounters salvation; those who refuse remain excluded. The image of binding and loosing refers to decisions on moral choices. It also indicated the power to make judgments of approval or condemnation of people’s behaviour and thus to admit or to exclude them from the community.

Today's Gospel passage makes it is clear that Peter is entrusted with a particular task in the church. It is he who always appears first, is called to feed the lambs and the sheep and to sustain his brothers and sisters in the faith.

Misunderstandings and disagreements are born from the way service was done. Throughout the ages, many times from being a sign of love and unity, the apostolic ministry became an expression of power. The exercise of this ministry is to be matched all the time with the gospel so that the bishop of Rome is for all— “he who presides over charity”. Let us continue to pray for the Pope and for the Petrine Ministry and that our faith in Jesus may keep all the people as brothers and sisters.

 

 

Liturgical Calendar 2021

Liturgical Calendar 2020
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