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Saturday, June 29, 2024

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Sts. Peter & Paul

Acts 12:1-11
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Psalm 34:2-9
Matthew 16:13-19

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getting behind jesus

“I have kept the faith.” —2 Timothy 4:7

Sts. Peter and Paul, who are foundation stones of the Church (Eph 2:20), were human beings who failed in spectacular fashion. St. Peter was rebuked by Jesus with the words, “Get behind Me, Satan!” (Mt 16:23, RSV-CE) To be so addressed by Jesus is a most stinging rebuke.

Note that Jesus was telling Peter to “get behind” Him. Jesus is the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11). He “walks in front of [His sheep], and the sheep follow Him” (Jn 10:4). We disciples are to “get behind” Jesus (Mt 16:23, RSV-CE) and follow after Him (Lk 9:23). We must not try to lead Jesus as if He were a sheep rather than a shepherd. Jesus reminded Peter of this after His Resurrection when He told Peter, “Follow Me” (Jn 21:19). Peter took Jesus’ words to heart, repented, and persevered in serving Jesus.

St. Paul persecuted the Church, and through these attacks persecuted Jesus directly (Acts 9:5). Paul later called himself “the worst” of sinners (1 Tm 1:15). Yet Paul repented and persevered in running the Christian race (2 Tm 4:7).

The same Holy Spirit that filled Sts. Peter and Paul also has been given to us. Peter was “filled with the Holy Spirit” at Pentecost (Acts 2:4). Paul accepted Baptism from Ananias and was also “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17-18). Get behind Jesus, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and follow Him.

Prayer:  Father, set me free from my chains (Acts 12:7) to receive the Spirit and serve You with perseverance.

Promise:  “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and delivers them.” —Ps 34:8

Praise:  “The Lord will continue to rescue me from all attempts to do me harm and will bring me safe to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Tm 4:18).

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

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