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Friday, June 29, 2007

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Sts. Peter & Paul

Acts 3:1-10
Galatians 1:11-20
(Vigil Mass readings)

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the gift that keeps on giving

"I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you." —Acts 3:6

Do you feel that God can't use you because of your sinful past? Paul declared himself to be the all-time worst sinner (1 Tm 1:15), a man who blasphemed God and fiercely persecuted the members of the Church (1 Tm 1:13). Jesus broke into Paul's life and commissioned Paul to be His apostle. Though Paul didn't consider himself worthy of this calling (1 Cor 15:9), he humbly received it, and gave his all to serve God (1 Cor 15:10).

Do you feel that God can't use you because of your messy past? Tradition holds that each year on Holy Thursday evening St. Peter would celebrate Mass. Peter the priest would weep profusely as he preached about Jesus' saving love for him on the anniversary of the very night he had denied Him three times. Again Peter would weep copiously as he consecrated the Eucharist, recalling the Last Supper and Jesus' self-giving love, all the while knowing Peter would subsequently deny even knowing Him (Mt 26:34). Though Peter didn't consider himself worthy to serve Jesus, he humbly accepted his calling, and gave his all to serve God.

Peter and Paul could have defined themselves by their failures. Instead, they defined themselves in relation to Jesus, and who He called them to be. Imitate them (1 Cor 11:1). Refuse to let your limitations limit the limitless God. You may not have much, but you can give Jesus your all (Acts 3:6).

Prayer:  Jesus, though my sin abounds, Your grace far surpasses it (Rm 5:20). "What I have I give You" (Acts 3:6).

Promise:  "Through all the earth their voice resounds, and to the ends of the world, their message." —Ps 19:5

Praise:  Sts. Peter & Paul overcame their pasts by putting their hands to the plow and not looking back (see Lk 9:62) and were able to accomplish marvels untold.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007

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