Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Petrine, Psalms 34:2-9, Acts 12:1-11, Matthew 16:13-23, Pope Francis Daily Homily, Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Incident at Antioch, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life In Christ Section 2 The Human Communion Article 1:1 The Person and Society - Communal Character

Saturday,  June 29, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Petrine, Psalms 34:2-9, Acts 12:1-11Matthew 16:13-23, Pope Francis Daily Homily, Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Incident at Antioch, Catholic Catechism Part Three: Life  In Christ Section 2 The Human Communion Article 1:1 The Person and Society - Communal Character

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge, reason and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe (fear of the Lord) , counsel, knowledge, fortitude, and piety (reverence) and shun the seven Deadly sins: wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony...Its your choice whether to embrace the Gifts of the Holy Spirit rising towards eternal light or succumb to the Seven deadly sins and lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to the Darkness, Purgatory or Heaven is our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...~ Zarya Parx 2013

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Prayers for Today: Saturday in Ordinary Time

Rosary - Joyful Mysteries


 Papam Franciscus
(Pope Francis)

Pope Francis June 29 General Audience Address :

  Homily of Saints Peter and Paul

(2013-06-29 Vatican Radio)
Your Eminences,My Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We are celebrating the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles, principal patrons of the Church of Rome: a celebration made all the more joyful by the presence of bishops from throughout the world. A great wealth, which makes us in some sense relive the event of Pentecost. Today, as then, the faith of the Church speaks in every tongue and desire to unite all peoples in one family.

I offer a heartfelt and grateful greeting to the Delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, led by Metropolitan Ioannis. I thank Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I for this renewed gesture of fraternity. I greet the distinguished ambassadors and civil authorities. And in a special way I thank the Thomanerchor, the Choir of the Thomaskirche of Leipzig – Bach’s own church – which is contributing to today’s liturgical celebration and represents an additional ecumenical presence.

I would like to offer three thoughts on the Petrine ministry, guided by the word “confirm”. What has the Bishop of Rome been called to confirm?

1. First, to confirm in faith. The Gospel speaks of the confession of Peter: “You are Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:16), a confession which does not come from him but from our Father in heaven. Because of this confession, Jesus replies: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church” (v. 18). The role, the ecclesial service of Peter, is founded upon his confession of faith in Jesus, the Son of the living God, made possible by a grace granted from on high. In the second part of today’s Gospel we see the peril of thinking in worldly terms. When Jesus speaks of his death and resurrection, of the path of God which does not correspond to the human path of power, flesh and blood re-emerge in Peter: “He took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him ... This must never happen to you” (16:22). Jesus’ response is harsh: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me” (v. 23). Whenever we let our thoughts, our feelings or the logic of human power prevail, and we do not let ourselves be taught and guided by faith, by God, we become stumbling blocks. Faith in Christ is the light of our life as Christians and as ministers in the Church!

2. To confirm in love. In the second reading we heard the moving words of Saint Paul: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Tm 4:7). But what is this fight? It is not one of those fights fought with human weapons which sadly continue to cause bloodshed throughout the world; rather, it is the fight of martyrdom. Saint Paul has but one weapon: the message of Christ and the gift of his entire life for Christ and for others. It is precisely this readiness to lay himself open, personally, to be consumed for the sake of the Gospel, to make himself all things to all people, unstintingly, that gives him credibility and builds up the Church. The Bishop of Rome is called himself to live and to confirm his brothers and sisters in this love for Christ and for all others, without distinction, limits or barriers.

3. To confirm in unity. Here I would like to reflect for a moment on the rite which we have carried out. The pallium is a symbol of communion with the Successor of Peter, “the lasting and visible source and foundation of the unity both of faith and of communion” (Lumen Gentium, 18). And your presence today, dear brothers, is the sign that the Church’s communion does not mean uniformity. The Second Vatican Council, in speaking of the hierarchical structure of the Church, states that the Lord “established the apostles as college or permanent assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from their number” (ibid., 19). And it continues, “this college, in so far as it is composed of many members, is the expression of the variety and universality of the people of God” (ibid., 22). In the Church, variety, which is itself a great treasure, is always grounded in the harmony of unity, like a great mosaic in which every small piece joins with others as part of God’s one great plan. This should inspire us to work always to overcome every conflict which wounds the body of the Church. United in our differences: this is the way of Jesus! The pallium, while being a sign of communion with the Bishop of Rome and with the universal church, also commits each of you to being a servant of communion.

To confess the Lord by letting oneself be taught by God; to be consumed by love for Christ and his Gospel; to be servants of unity. These, dear brother bishops, are the tasks which the holy apostles Peter and Paul entrust to each of us, so that they can be lived by every Christian. May the holy Mother of God guide us and accompany us always with her intercession. Queen of Apostles, pray for us! Amen.


Liturgical Celebrations to be presided over by Pope: Summer

Vatican City, Summer2013 (VIS)
Following is the calendar of celebrations scheduled to be presided over by the Holy Father for the Summer of 2013:

29 Saturday, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul: 9:30am, Mass and imposition of the pallium upon new metropolitans in the papal chapel.

The Prefecture of the Papal Household has released Pope Francis' agenda for the summer period, from July through to the end of August. Briefing journalists, Holy See Press Office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Pope will remain 'based ' at the Casa Santa Marta residence in Vatican City State for the duration of the summer.

As per tradition, all private and special audiences are suspended for the duration of the summer. The Holy Father's private Masses with employees will end July 7 and resume in September. The Wednesday general audiences are suspended for the month of July to resume August 7 at the Vatican.

7 July, 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time: 9:30am, Mass with seminarians and novices in the Vatican Basilica.

14 July Sunday , Pope Francis will lead the Angelus prayer from the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Francis will travel to Brazil for the 28th World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro from Monday July 22 to Monday July 29.  


  • Vatican News. From the Pope. © Copyright 2013 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Accessed 06/29/2013.


June 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World on the 32nd Anniversary of the apparitions: “Dear children! With joy in the heart I love you all and call you to draw closer to my Immaculate Heart so I can draw you still closer to my Son Jesus, and that He can give you His peace and love, which are nourishment for each one of you. Open yourselves, little children, to prayer – open yourselves to my love. I am your mother and cannot leave you alone in wandering and sin. You are called, little children, to be my children, my beloved children, so I can present you all to my Son. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

June 2, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World: "Dear children, in this restless time, anew I am calling you to set out after my Son - to follow Him. I know of the pain, suffering and difficulties, but in my Son you will find rest; in Him you will find peace and salvation. My children, do not forget that my Son redeemed you by His Cross and enabled you, anew, to be children of God; to be able to, anew, call the Heavenly Father, "Father". To be worthy of the Father, love and forgive, because your Father is love and forgiveness. Pray and fast, because that is the way to your purification, it is the way of coming to know and becoming cognizant of the Heavenly Father. When you become cognizant of the Father, you will comprehend that He is all you need. I, as a mother, desire my children to be in a community of one single people where the Word of God is listened to and carried out.* Therefore, my children, set out after my Son. Be one with Him. Be God's children. Love your shepherds as my Son loved them when He called them to serve you. Thank you." *Our Lady said this resolutely and with emphasis.

May 25, 2013 Our Lady of Medjugorje Message to the World:“Dear children! Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus. Pray little children, pray without ceasing until your heart opens to God’s love. I am with you and I intercede for all of you and I pray for your conversion. Thank you for having responded to my call.”


Today's Word:  Petrine  pe·trine [pee-trahyn]  

Origin:  1840–50;  < Late Latin Petr ( us ) Peter + -ine1
  1. of or pertaining to the apostle Peter or the Epistles bearing his name.


Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 34:2-9

2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and rejoice.
3 Proclaim with me the greatness of Yahweh, let us acclaim his name together.
4 I seek Yahweh and he answers me, frees me from all my fears.
5 Fix your gaze on Yahweh and your face will grow bright, you will never hang your head in shame.
6 A pauper calls out and Yahweh hears, saves him from all his troubles.
7 The angel of Yahweh encamps around those who fear him, and rescues them.
8 Taste and see that Yahweh is good. How blessed are those who take refuge in him.
9 Fear Yahweh, you his holy ones; those who fear him lack for nothing.


Today's Epistle -  Acts 12:1-11

1 It was about this time that King Herod started persecuting certain members of the church.
2 He had James the brother of John beheaded,
3 and when he saw that this pleased the Jews he went on to arrest Peter as well.
4 As it was during the days of Unleavened Bread that he had arrested him, he put him in prison, assigning four sections of four soldiers each to guard him, meaning to try him in public after the Passover.
5 All the time Peter was under guard the church prayed to God for him unremittingly.
6 On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison.
7 Then suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. 'Get up!' he said, 'Hurry!' -- and the chains fell from his hands.
8 The angel then said, 'Put on your belt and sandals.' After he had done this, the angel next said, 'Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.'
9 He followed him out, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision.
10 They passed through the first guard post and then the second and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him.
11 It was only then that Peter came to himself. And he said, 'Now I know it is all true. The Lord really did send his angel and save me from Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.'


Today's Gospel Reading -  Matthew 16:13-23

Jesus said to Peter, "You are the Rock!"
The Rock of support and of scandal

Matthew 16:13-23

1. Opening prayer

Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind that you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your sentence and death. Thus, the cross that seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the source of life and of resurrection. 

Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation and in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the force of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.

2. Reading  - Matthew 16:13-23
a) A key to the reading:
The liturgical text of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is taken from the Gospel of Matthew: 16:13-19. In our commentary we also include verses 20 -23, because in the entirety of the text, verses 13 to 23, Jesus turns to Peter and twice calls him "rock". Once he calls him the foundation stone (Mt 16:18) and once the rock of scandal (Mt 16:23). Both statements complement each other. While reading the text, it is good to pay attention to Peter's attitude and to the solemn words that Jesus addresses to him on two occasions.

b) A division of the text to help with the reading:
13-14: Jesus wishes to know what people think of him.
15-16: Jesus asks the disciples and Peter makes his confession: "You are the Christ, the Son of God!"
17-20: Then we have Jesus' solemn reply to Peter (a key phrase for today's feast).
21-22: Jesus explains the meaning of Messiah, but Peter reacts and refuses to accept.
22-23: Jesus' solemn reply to Peter.

c) The Gospel: Matthew 16:13-23
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."  15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.  21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.  22 And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you." 23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men."

3. A moment of prayerful silence so that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.

4. Some questions to help us in our personal reflection.
a) What most caught my attention?
b) Who do the people think Jesus is? Who do Peter and the disciples think Jesus is?
c) Who is Jesus for me? Who am I for Jesus?
d) Peter is rock in two ways: what are they?
e) What kind of rock is our community?
f) In the text we find several opinions as to who Jesus is and several ways of presenting the faith. Today too, there are several opinions as to who Jesus is. Which opinions does our community know? What kind of mission does that imply for us?

5. A key to the reading  to enter deeper into the theme.
i) The context:
In the narrative parts of his Gospel, Matthew follows the sequence of Mark's Gospel. However, he also quotes a source known to him and Luke. Rarely does he give information that is solely his, as in today's Gospel. This text and the dialogue between Jesus and Peter is interpreted variously, even in opposite directions in the various Christian churches. In the Catholic Church, this text forms the basis for the primacy of Peter. Without in any way diminishing the importance of this text, it might be good to situate it in the context of Matthew's Gospel, where, elsewhere, the qualities ascribed to Peter are also attributed to other persons. They do not belong exclusively to Peter.

ii) Commentary on the text:
a) Matthew: 16: 13-16: The opinions of the people and those of the disciples concerning Jesus.
Jesus wishes to know what people think of him. The answers are quite varied: John the Baptist, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. When Jesus asks the disciples' opinion, Peter replies in their name: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" Peter's reply is not new. On a previous occasion, when Jesus walked on the water, the other disciples had made a similar profession of faith: "Truly you are the Son of God!" (Mt 14:33). This is an acknowledgement that in Jesus the prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled. In John's Gospel Martha makes the same profession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of God who is come into the world" (Jn 11:27).

b) Matthew: 16:17: Jesus' reply to Peter: Blessed are you, Peter!
Jesus proclaims Peter "blessed" because he has been given a revelation from the Father. Jesus' reply too is not new. On a previous occasion, Jesus had made the same proclamation of blessedness to the disciples because they were hearing and seeing that which no one else knew before (Mt 13:16), and he praised the Father because he had revealed the Son to little ones and not to the learned (Mt 11:25). Peter is one of the little ones to whom the Father reveals himself. The perception that God is present in Jesus does not "come from flesh and blood", it is not the result of study or merit of human effort, but a gift that God gives to whom he pleases.

c) Matthew: 16:18-20: Peter's qualifications: Being foundation stone and taking possession of the keys of the Kingdom.

1. Being Rock: Peter has to be rock, that is, he has to be a strong foundation for the Church, so that she may stand up to the assaults of the gates of hell. Through these words addressed by Jesus to Peter, Matthew encourages the suffering and persecuted communities in Syria and Palestine, who saw in Peter the leadership that had marked them from the beginning. In spite of being weak and persecuted, they had a solid foundation, guaranteed by the words of Jesus. In those days, the communities cultivated a very strong sentimental tie with the leaders who had established them. Thus the communities of Syria and Palestine cultivated their relationship with the person of Peter; those of Greece with the person of Paul; some communities in Asia with the person of the beloved Disciple and others with the person of John of the Apocalypse. Identifying themselves with the leader of their origin helped them to grow better in their identity and spirituality. But this could also give rise to conflict as in the case of the community of Corinth (1Cor 1:11-12).

Being rock as foundation of the faith, recalls to mind the word of God to the people in exile in Babylonia: "Listen to me, you who pursue justice, who seek the Lord; look to the rock from which you were hewn, to the pit from which you were quarried; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sara, who gave you birth; when he was but one I called him, I blessed him and made him many" (Is 51:1-2). When applied to Peter, this quality of foundation stonepoints to a new beginning for the people of God. 

2. The keys of the Kingdom: Peter receives the keys of the Kingdom to bind and to loose, that is, to reconcile people with God. The same power of binding and loosing is given to the communities (Mt 18:8) and to the disciples (Jn 20:23). One of the points on which the Gospel of Matthew insists is reconciliation and pardon (Mt 5:7.23-24.38-42.44-48; 6:14-15; 18:15-35). The reality is that in the 80s and 90s, there were many tensions and divisions within families in the communities in Syria because of faith in Jesus. Some accepted him as Messiah whereas others did not, and this was the source of many contrasting views and conflicts. Matthew insists on reconciliation. Reconciliation kept on being one of the most important tasks of coordinators of the communities. Like Peter they must bind and loose, that is, labour so as to bring about reconciliation, mutual acceptance, and build up true fraternity. 

3. The Church: the word Church, in Greek ekklesia, is found 105 times in the New Testament, almost always in the Acts and the Epistles. We find the word only three times in the Gospels and only in Matthew. The word means "a called assembly" or "chosen assembly". The word applies to the people gathered, called by the Word of God, a people that seeks to live the message of the Kingdom brought by Jesus. The Church is not the Kingdom, but an instrument and a sign of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is greater. In the Church, the community, all must see or should see what happens when a group of people allows God to rule and take possession of its life.

d) Matthew: 16:21-22: Jesus completes what is lacking in Peter's reply, and Peter reacts by not accepting.
Peter had confessed: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" In keeping with the prevailing ideology of the time, he imagined a glorious Messiah. Jesus corrects him: "It is necessary that the Messiah suffer and be killed in Jerusalem". With the words "it is necessary", he says that suffering had been foreseen in the prophecies (Is 53: 2-8). If the disciples accept Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, then they must accept him also as the Servant Messiah who must die. Not just the triumph of glory but also the way of the cross! But Peter will not accept Jesus' correction and tries to change his mind.

e) Matthew: 16:23: Jesus' reply to Peter: rock of scandal.
Jesus' reply is surprising: "Get behind me, satan, you are a scandal to me, for you do not mind the things of God, but those of men!"Satan is the one who leads us away from the path marked out for us by God. Jesus literally says: "Get behind me!" (in Latin, vada retro!). Peter wanted to steer and point the way. Jesus says: "Get behind me!" Jesus not Peter is the one who points the way and sets the rhythm. The disciple must follow the master. He must live in constant conversion. Jesus' word was also a message to all those who led the communities. They must "follow" Jesus and they may not go before as Peter wished to do. It is not only they who are able to point the way or the manner. On the contrary, like Peter, instead of being a rock of support, they can become rock of scandal. Such were some leaders of the communities at the time of Matthew. There were ambiguities. The same may happen among us today.

iii) A further explanation of the Gospels concerning Peter: 

A portrait of St. Peter.
Peter was transformed from fisherman of fish to fisherman of men (Mk 1:7). He was married (Mk 1:30). He was a good man and very human. He tended naturally to a role of leadership among the twelve disciples of Jesus. Jesus respected this natural quality and made Peter the leader of his first community (Jn 21:17). Before joining Jesus' community, Peter's name was Simon bar Jona (Mt 16:17), Simon son of Jonah. Jesus nicknamed him Cephas or Rock, and this then became Peter (Lk 6:14).

By nature, Peter could have been anything but rock. He was courageous in speech, but at the hour of danger he fell victim to fear and fled. For instance, when Jesus came walking on the water, Peter asked: "Jesus, can I too come to you on the water?" Jesus replied: "Come, Peter!" Peter then went out of the boat and started walking on the water. But when a bigger wave came along, he got afraid and began to sink. He then cried out: "Save me, Lord!" Jesus took hold of him and saved him (Mt 14:28-31). At the last supper, Peter said to Jesus: "I shall never deny you, Lord!" (Mk 14:31); yet a few hours later, in the palace of the high priest, in front of a servant girl, when Jesus had already been arrested, Peter denied Jesus swearing that he had no connection with him (Mk 14:66-72). In the garden of olives, when Jesus had been arrested, he even used his word (Jn 18:10), but then fled, leaving Jesus alone (Mk 14:50). Peter was not naturally rock! And yet the weak and human Peter, so like us, did become rock because Jesus had prayed for him: "Peter, I have prayed for you so that your faith may not fail; and, when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:31-32). That is why Jesus was able to say: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church" (Mt 16:18). Jesus helped him to become rock. After the resurrection, in Galilee, Jesus appeared to Peter and asked him twice: "Peter, do you love me?" And Peter replied twice: "Lord, you know that I love you" (Jn 21:15.16). When Jesus put the same question to him the third time, Peter was hurt. He must have remembered that he had denied him three times. So he answered: "Lord, you know all things! You know that I love you!" It was then that Jesus entrusted to him the care of the sheep: "Peter, feed my sheep!" (Jn 21:17). With Jesus' help, the strength of the rock grew in Peter and he revealed himself on the day of Pentecost. On that day, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, Peter opened the doors of the upper room where they were all gathered behind closed doors for fear of the Jews (Jn 20:19), and, infused with courage, began to announce the Good News of Jesus to the people (Acts 2:14-40). From then on he never stopped! On account of this courageous proclamation of the resurrection, he was arrested (Acts 4:3). During the interrogation he was forbidden to announce the good news (Acts 4:18), but Peter did not obey the prohibition. He said: "We must obey God rather then man!" (Acts 4:19; 5:29). He was arrested again (Acts 5:18.26). He was scourged (Acts 5:40). But he said: "Thank you very much. But we shall go on!" (cfr Acts 5:42).

Tradition tells us that at the end of his life, when he was in Rome, Peter had another moment of fear. But then he went back, was arrested and condemned to death on the cross. However, he asked that he might be crucified with his head down. He thought that he was not worthy to die in the same way as his master, Jesus. Peter was true to himself to the very end.

6. Psalm 103 (102)
ThanksgivingBless the Lord, O my soul;
and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.
The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor requite us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
so the Lord pities those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord
is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
hearkening to the voice of his word!
Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will!
Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

7. Final Prayer
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practise the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Solemnity of  Saints Peter and Paul

Feast DayJune 29

Patron Saint:  n/a
Attributes:  n/a

saints peter and paul
Saints Peter and Paul
The Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, or the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, is a liturgical feast in honour of the martyrdom in Rome of the apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which is observed on 29 June. The celebration is of ancient origin, the date selected being the anniversary either of their death or of the translation of their relics.[1]

In the Roman Catholic Church

In the Roman Catholic calendar of saints, it is celebrated as a solemnity. In the General Roman Calendar of 1962, it is a first-class feast. It is a holy day of obligation in the universal Church, although individual conferences of bishops can suppress the obligation.[2]

In England and Wales the feast is observed as a holy day of obligation while in the United States and Canada, it is not. In Malta it is a public holiday and in Maltese known as L-Imnarja.

This is the day of the liturgical year on which those newly created metropolitan archbishops receive the primary symbol of their office, the pallium, from the pope.

In Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches

For Eastern Orthodox and some Eastern Catholic Christians this feast also marks the end of the Apostles' Fast (which began on the Monday following All Saints' Sunday, i.e., the second Monday after Pentecost). It is considered a day of recommended attendance, whereon one should attend the All-Night Vigil (or at least Vespers) on the eve, and the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the feast (there are, however, no "Days of Obligation" in the Eastern Church). For those who follow the traditional Julian Calendar, 29 June falls on the Gregorian Calendar date of 12 July.

In the Russian Orthodox tradition, Macarius of Unzha's Miracle of the Moose is said to have occurred during the Apostles' Fast and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul that followed it.

Ecumenical importance

In recent decades, this feast, along with that of Saint Andrew, has been of importance to the modern ecumenical movement as an occasion on which the pope and the Patriarch of Constantinople have officiated at services designed to bring their two churches closer to intercommunion. This was especially the case during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, as reflected in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint.


    1. ^ The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI (Robert Appleton Company, New York, 1911), s.v., "St. Paul", accessed 2007-06-04.
    2. ^ Codex Iuris Canonici (1983), canon 1246.

    Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


    Today's Snippet I:  Incident at Antioch

    Rembrandt's Two old men disputing, 1628. This painting is thought to depict Peter and Paul.[1]
    The Incident at Antioch was an Apostolic Age dispute between the apostles Paul and Peter which occurred in the city of Antioch around the middle of the first century. The primary source for the incident is Paul's Epistle to the Galatians 2:11-14. Since Ferdinand Christian Baur, scholars have found evidence of conflict among the leaders of Early Christianity; for example James D. G. Dunn proposes that Peter was a "bridge-man" between the opposing views of Paul and James the Just.[2] The final outcome of the incident remains uncertain resulting in several Christian views of the Old Covenant to this day.

    Gentile Christians and the Torah

    As Gentiles began to convert from Paganism to Christianity, a dispute arose among Christian leaders as to whether or not Gentiles needed to observe all the tenets of the Law of Moses. In particular, it was debated whether Gentile converts needed to be circumcised or observe the dietary laws; circumcision especially being considered repulsive in Hellenistic culture.[3]

    Probably completely independent of Paul (see Possible conversion of Gamaliel for a counterview) but around the same time period, the subject of Gentiles and the Torah was also debated among the rabbis as recorded in the Talmud. This resulted in the doctrine of the Seven Laws of Noah, to be followed by gentiles, as well as the determination that "gentiles may not be taught the Torah." The 18th-century Rabbi Jacob Emden was of the opinion that Jesus' original objective, and especially Paul's, was only to convert Gentiles to the Seven Laws of Noah while allowing Jews to follow full Mosaic Law.[4] See also Dual covenant theology.

    Paul was a strong advocate of the position that Gentiles need not be circumcised nor observe dietary laws, a position which some took to advocate Antinomianism. Others, sometimes termed Judaizers, felt that Gentile Christians needed to fully comply with the Law of Moses.

    Council of Jerusalem

    Paul left Antioch and traveled to Jerusalem to discuss his mission to the Gentiles with the Christian "pillars of authority."[5] Describing the outcome of this meeting, Paul says "they recognized that I had been entrusted with the good-news for the un-circumcised." Acts of the Apostles describes the dispute as being resolved by Peter's speech and concluding with a decision by James the Just to not require circumcision from gentile converts. Acts quotes Peter and James as saying:
    "My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they."
    —Acts 15:7-11
    "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood."
    —Acts 15:19-20

    This Apostolic Decree is still observed by the Greek Orthodox Church.[6] However, the historical reliability of the Acts of the Apostles is disputed.[7] See also Dual-covenant theology.


    According to the Epistle to the Galatians chapter 2, Peter had traveled to Antioch and there was a dispute between him and Paul. The Epistle does not exactly say if this happened after the Council of Jerusalem or before it, but the incident is mentioned in Paul's letter as his next subject after describing a meeting in Jerusalem which scholars often consider to be the council. Galatians 2:11-13 says:
    When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group.
    To Paul's dismay, the rest of the Jewish Christians in Antioch sided with Peter, including Paul's long-time associate Barnabas:
    The rest of the Jews joined in this charade and even Barnabas was drawn into the hypocrisy.

    The Acts of the Apostles relates a fallout between Paul and Barnabas soon after the Council of Jerusalem, but gives the reason as the fitness of John Mark to join Paul's mission (Acts 15:36-40). Acts also describes the time when Peter went to the house of a gentile. Acts 11:1-3 says:
    The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, "You went into the house of the uncircumcised and ate with them."
    This is described as having happened before the death of King Herod (Agrippa) in 44 AD, and thus years before the Council of Jerusalem (dated c. 50). Acts is entirely silent about any confrontation between Peter and Paul, that or any other time.

    There is some debate that the confrontation was actually not between Paul and Peter, the Apostle, but another one of the identified 70 disciples of the time with the same name as Peter. In 1708, a French Jesuit, Jean Hardouin wrote a dissertation that argues "Peter" was actually "another Peter", thus the emphasis of using the name Cephas (Aramaic for Peter).[8]


    The final parting of Peter and Paul has been a subject of Christian art, pointing to a tradition of their reconciliation.
    The final outcome of the incident remains uncertain; indeed the issue of Biblical law in Christianity remains disputed to this day. The Catholic Encyclopedia states: "St. Paul's account of the incident leaves no doubt that St. Peter saw the justice of the rebuke."[9] In contrast, L. Michael White's From Jesus to Christianity states: "The blowup with Peter was a total failure of political bravado, and Paul soon left Antioch as persona non grata, never again to return."[10]

    According to church tradition, Peter and Paul taught together in Rome and founded Christianity in that city. Eusebius cites Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth as saying, "They taught together in like manner in Italy, and suffered martyrdom at the same time."[11] This may indicate their reconciliation. In 2 Peter 3:16, Paul's letters are referred to as "scripture", which indicates the respect the writer had for Paul's apostolic authority.[12]


    1. ^ Perkin, Corrie (2006-02-25). "Oh! We've lent the Rembrandt". The Age (Fairfax). Retrieved 2010-04-29.
    2. ^ James D. G. Dunn in The Canon Debate, L.M. McDonald and J.A. Sanders, editors, 2002, chapter 32, page 577: "For Peter was probably in fact and effect the bridge-man (pontifex maximus!) who did more than any other to hold together the diversity of first-century Christianity. James the brother of Jesus and Paul, the two other most prominent leading figures in first-century Christianity, were too much identified with their respective "brands" of Christianity, at least in the eyes of Christians at the opposite ends of this particular spectrum. But Peter, as shown particularly by the Antioch episode in Gal 2, had both a care to hold firm to his Jewish heritage, which Paul lacked, and an openness to the demands of developing Christianity, which James lacked." [Italics original]
    3. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Circumcision: In Apocryphal and Rabbinical Literature: "Contact with Grecian life, especially at the games of the arena [which involved nudity], made this distinction obnoxious to the Hellenists, or antinationalists; and the consequence was their attempt to appear like the Greeks by epispasm ("making themselves foreskins"; I Macc. i. 15; Josephus, "Ant." xii. 5, § 1; Assumptio Mosis, viii.; I Cor. vii. 18; , Tosef., Shab. xv. 9; Yeb. 72a, b; Yer. Peah i. 16b; Yeb. viii. 9a). All the more did the law-observing Jews defy the edict of Antiochus Epiphanes prohibiting circumcision (I Macc. i. 48, 60; ii. 46); and the Jewish women showed their loyalty to the Law, even at the risk of their lives, by themselves circumcising their sons."; Hodges, Frederick, M. (2001). "The Ideal Prepuce in Ancient Greece and Rome: Male Genital Aesthetics and Their Relation to Lipodermos, Circumcision, Foreskin Restoration, and the Kynodesme" (PDF). The Bulletin of the History of Medicine 75 (Fall 2001): 375–405. doi:10.1353/bhm.2001.0119. PMID 11568485. Retrieved 2007-07-24.
    4. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia: Gentiles: Gentiles May Not Be Taught the Torah
    5. ^ Gal 2:1-10, Acts 15:1-19
    6. ^ Karl Josef von Hefele's commentary on canon II of Gangra notes: "We further see that, at the time of the Synod of Gangra, the rule of the Apostolic Synod with regard to blood and things strangled was still in force. With the Greeks, indeed, it continued always in force as their Euchologies still show. Balsamon also, the well-known commentator on the canons of the Middle Ages, in his commentary on the sixty-third Apostolic Canon, expressly blames the Latins because they had ceased to observe this command. What the Latin Church, however, thought on this subject about the year 400, is shown by St. Augustine in his work Contra Faustum, where he states that the Apostles had given this command in order to unite the heathens and Jews in the one ark of Noah; but that then, when the barrier between Jewish and heathen converts had fallen, this command concerning things strangled and blood had lost its meaning, and was only observed by few."
    7. ^  "Acts of the Apostles". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913. In section Objections against the Authenticity: "Baur, Schwanbeck, De Wette, Davidson, Mayerhoff, Schleiermacher, Bleek, Krenkel, and others have opposed the authenticity of the Acts."
    8. ^ Scott, James M. "A Question of Identity: Is Cephas the Same Person As Peter?" Journal of Biblical Studies 3/3 October 2003.
    9. ^  "Judaizers". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
    10. ^ White, L. Michael (2004). From Jesus to Christianity. HarperSanFrancisco. p. 170. ISBN 0-06-052655-6.
    11. ^ Eusebius, Church History 2.25.
    12. ^ "Peter places the epistles of Paul on the same level as the Old Testament." Simon J. Kistemaker, Peter and Jude (Evangelical Press, 1987), 346.
    • Dunn, James D.G. The Incident at Antioch (Gal 2:11-18) Journal for the Study of the New Testament 18, 1983, pg 95-122
    • James D. G. Dunn Echoes of Intra-Jewish Polemic in Paul's Letter to the Galatians Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 112, No. 3 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 459–477
    • James D. G. Dunn, Jesus, Paul and the Law, chapter 6: "The Incident at Antioch"[1]
    • White, "From Jesus to Christianity"
    • Moriyoshi Murayama, The incident at Antioch ; a social-scientific analysis of Galatians 2:11-14


     Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part Three: Life in Christ

    Section One: Man's Vocation Life in The Spirit


    Article 1:1   The Person and Society - Communal Character

    1699 Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man (chapter one). This life is made up of divine charity and human solidarity (chapter two). It is graciously offered as salvation (chapter three).

    1877 The vocation of humanity is to show forth the image of God and to be transformed into the image of the Father's only Son. This vocation takes a personal form since each of us is called to enter into the divine beatitude; it also concerns the human community as a whole.

    Article 1

    I. The Communal Character of the Human Vocation
    1878 All men are called to the same end: God himself. There is a certain resemblance between the union of the divine persons and the fraternity that men are to establish among themselves in truth and love.GS 24 # 3 Love of neighbor is inseparable from love for God.

    1879 The human person needs to live in society. Society is not for him an extraneous addition but a requirement of his nature. Through the exchange with others, mutual service and dialogue with his brethren, man develops his potential; he thus responds to his vocation.GS 25 #

    1880 A society is a group of persons bound together organically by a principle of unity that goes beyond each one of them. As an assembly that is at once visible and spiritual, a society endures through time: it gathers up the past and prepares for the future. By means of society, each man is established as an "heir" and receives certain "talents" that enrich his identity and whose fruits he must develop.Lk 19:13, 15 He rightly owes loyalty to the communities of which he is part and respect to those in authority who have charge of the common good.

    1881 Each community is defined by its purpose and consequently obeys specific rules; but "the human person . . . is and ought to be the principle, the subject and the end of all social institutions."GS 25 # 1

    1882 Certain societies, such as the family and the state, correspond more directly to the nature of man; they are necessary to him. To promote the participation of the greatest number in the life of a society, the creation of voluntary associations and institutions must be encouraged "on both national and international levels, which relate to economic and social goals, to cultural and recreational activities, to sport, to various professions, and to political affairs."John XXIII, MM 60 This "socialization" also expresses the natural tendency for human beings to associate with one another for the sake of attaining objectives that exceed individual capacities. It develops the qualities of the person, especially the sense of initiative and responsibility, and helps guarantee his rights.GS 25 # 2; CA 12

    1883 Socialization also presents dangers. Excessive intervention by the state can threaten personal freedom and initiative. the teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good."CA 48 # 4; cf. Pius XI, Quadragesimo anno I, 184-186

    1884 God has not willed to reserve to himself all exercise of power. He entrusts to every creature the functions it is capable of performing, according to the capacities of its own nature. This mode of governance ought to be followed in social life. the way God acts in governing the world, which bears witness to such great regard for human freedom, should inspire the wisdom of those who govern human communities. They should behave as ministers of divine providence.

    1885 The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.