The Solemnity of St Peter and Paul

Published on 19 Jun 2019
El Greco painting of St Peter and Paul together

Glorify the Lord with me. Together let us praise his Name!

Grant, we pray, O Lord our God, that we may be sustained

by the intercession of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul,

that, as through them you gave your Church

the foundations of her heavenly office,

so through them you may help her to eternal salvation.

This week we celebrate the feast of the two ‘chief apostles’ – St Peter and St Paul. Both were faithful rocks on whom Jesus built his Church, unshakeable in their belief that Jesus was the Christ, and ever-faithful to the universal mission he gave them. They can greatly encourage us as we, too, try to be Church today, following Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

The Church prays continuously for Peter throughout his ordeal as he lies enchained in Herod’s prison. But then an angel comes to release him and Peter realises that the Lord really has saved him. (First Reading)

The Psalmist has also been released from his distress, and invites us to glorify God with him. We, too, can trust that the Lord will answer when we seek refuge in him, and will free us from our terrors.

Paul, like Peter, is also in prison, and knows that the end of his life is near. But he rejoices that he has kept faith: God has always been with him in his struggles and will bring him safely home. (Second Reading)

As Peter acknowledges Jesus as the Son of the Living God, Jesus establishes him as the rock on which he will build his Church, and entrusts him with the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. (Gospel)

This week, as we give thanks for the lives of St Peter and St Paul, we pray for that same courage to put our trust in Christ Jesus, whatever trials we may face in life. Let’s ask, too, for God’s help as we work together to try to build up his Church.

The Lord really did send his angel.       First Reading

I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips.    Psalm

The Lord stood by me and gave me power.    Second Reading

‘But you … who do you say I am?’ ‘You are the Christ; the Son of the Living God!’     Gospel

This week’s texts if you want to reflect further

Acts 12: 1–11; Psalm 33 (34); 2 Timothy 4: 6–8, 17–18; Matthew 16: 13–19