Posted by: livingscripture | June 29, 2011

Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

From the Word of the Day 

From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.

                          2 Timothy 4: 8                                                                

How should we live this Word 

Peter and Paul are two sustaining pillars in God’s edifice.  They were of temperaments and social-cultural backgrounds that were deeply different.  Yet, they find themselves together in the one great task of witnessing toChristto the point of martyrdom for their total adhesion to Him.

The passage from Acts in today’s Liturgy presentsPeterwhen he is miraculously freed from the chains that held him prisoner.  In the Letter to Timothy, Paul brings the discourse to the violent conclusion of his mission.  He does so by having recourse to images that are extremely eloquent: blood poured out as offering, the hour of departure, the battle, and the race that have accompanied him throughout his life.  There is no sign of regret or of sorrow in his words.  There is only the awareness of having brought to completion what had been entrusted to him, guarding in tact the deposit of faith.

It is precisely this consoling certainty that leads him to see death not as a tragic conclusion, but as a desired goal, the coronation of an existence strongly involved because it is totally permeated with the love of Christ.

However, the apostle’s gaze does not stop here.  It goes beyond, to include all believers of whatever epoch.  The crown of glory is for those who lovingly await Christ’s manifestation.  This waiting is configured on the basis of the situation and personal structure of each person as it was for Peter and Paul.  They followed two different roads, in dialogue and sometimes in heated confrontation.  But they were both striving toward the same goal that is Christ.                                                  

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will seek to individuate where and how I am called to witness toChrist. 

Lord, make me a fearless witness of Your love.

The voice of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran Theologian

It may be that tomorrow the last day will dawn.  In that moment, and not before, we will willingly interrupt our work for a better future.

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