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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflections for June 25

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

June 25, 2017 —Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Matthew 16:13-19
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says to Peter, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of John, I say that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Peter means rock, and so Peter’s name in English would be “Rocky Johnson.” Of course, we know him as Saint Peter. And today’s feast, occurring this year on Sunday, offers an opportunity to get better acquainted with him and Saint Paul. From them we learn a valuable lesson: Saints are sinners who keep on trying.

Saint Peter was one of the twelve apostles, generous, impetuous, likeable. Jesus asked him to leave everything, and Peter did. He became one of Jesus’ closest friends. With James and John, Peter was at the Transfiguration and the Agony in the Garden. But Peter also sinned. He swore to Jesus at the Last Supper that he would never deny him, then swore to a servant maid that he didn’t even know Jesus.

But Peter received forgiveness and new life from the risen Christ, whose Gospel he preached with zeal and courage. He went to Rome as the first Pope. There, in about A.D. 64, he was arrested and condemned to death. When he was led to a cross as his Master had been, he felt unworthy to die like Jesus, so he asked the soldiers to crucify him upside down. Peter had faults, but he kept trying, and he died a great saint.

Saint Paul persecuted Christians until Jesus appeared to him and asked, “Why are you persecuting me?” This encounter changed Paul from enemy to disciple. He spent the rest of his life preaching the Gospel, enduring hostility, imprisonment, and martyrdom. Paul never forgot his own sinfulness, and was forever grateful to Jesus for forgiving his crimes against believers.

Peter and Paul are our friends in the Communion of Saints, friends who will encourage us to follow Jesus. Let’s ask these great apostles to help us be like them: lovers of Jesus, sinners who become saints because we keep on trying!



             Read last week's reflection.