Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (June 29)
June 29, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
O God, who on the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul
give us the noble and holy joy of this day,
grant, we pray, that your Church
may in all things follow the teaching
of those through whom she received
the beginnings of right religion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
FIRST READING  Acts 12:1-11
In those days, 1 King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. 2 He had James, the brother of John, killed with the sword. 3 After he saw that it pleased some of the people, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the festival of Unleavened Bread. 4 When he had seized him, he put him in prison and handed him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. 5 While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fervently to God for him. 6 The very night before Herod was going to bring him out, Peter, bound with two chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while guards in front of the door were keeping watch over the prison. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his wrists. 8 The angel said to him, “Fasten your belt and put on your sandals.” He did so. Then he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.” 9 Peter went out and followed him; he did not realize that what was happening with the angel’s help was real; he thought he was seeing a vision. 10 After they had passed the first and the second guard, they came before the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went outside and walked along a lane, when suddenly the angel left him.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps. 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9

SECOND READING  2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18
As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing. The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack
and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

ALLELUIA Matt. 16:18

GOSPEL  Mt 16:13-19

When Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. 19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Catena Nova

Look at the holy Apostles. It was by sinful jealousy that Peter was subjected to tribulation, not once or twice but many times; it was in that way, that he bore his witness before leaving us for his well-earned place in glory. And Paul, because of jealousy and contention, has become the very type of endurance rewarded. … In him we have one of the greatest of all examples of endurance. … [And] we too, are in the same arena and have the same conflict before us.  Pope St. Clement I

There is one day for the passion of two apostles. But these two also were as one; although they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, Paul followed. We are celebrating a feast day, consecrated for us by the blood of the apostles. Let us love their faith, their lives, their labours, their sufferings, their confession of faith, their preaching. St Augustine of Hippo

There must be general rejoicing, dearly beloved, over this holy company whom God has appointed for our example in patience and for our confirmation in faith. But we must glory even more in the excellence of their fathers, Peter and Paul, whom the grace of God has raised to such a height among all the members of the Church that He has set them like twin lights of eyes in that Body whose head is Christ. Pope St. Leo the Great

A glorious, solemn feast has dawned, that of the martyrs and foremost of martyrs, made sacred by their deaths, Peter and Paul. They are two great lamps that God has set up in his Church like two wondrous eyes in Christ’s Body. They are given us as teachers to whom we can safely commit ourselves. They show us the path to life and bring us to that one Mediator who has made peace between heaven and earth by his blood and who “committed no sin, nor was guile in his mouth”. But how, then, can I can possibly approach Jesus? He is the purest one and I am so sinful! For this very reason, God gave me two great sinners. If I feel I am the greatest of sinners, yet I think I may be able to approach two who were themselves such great sinners and still found grace with God.
They teach us how much in need we are of forgiveness, and what great things God’s love can do with repentant sinners. Notice that Peter’s sin didn’t take away his call to lead others to Christ and even to call the other apostles to unity in Christ. Paul was forgiven for the sin he committed perhaps out of pride and all the learning he was so proud of became a reason to turn from reliance on himself to reliance on God and on Jesus Christ. He had been a violent person and worked horrible deeds of violence on innocent people simply because they believed in Jesus as the Messiah and were made a chosen vessel, leading others to that very faith.  St. Bernard of Clairvaux
[Saints Peter and Paul] are the pillars that support the church by their teaching, their prayers, and their example of patience. Our Lord strengthened them. In the beginning these pillars of the Church were very weak. They couldn’t support either themselves or others. It was wonderfully arranged by God’s Providence. If they had always been strong, one might have thought their strength was their own. But now all know that their strength was entirely from God. Again, they were sent to heal the weak but they would be unable to pity weakness if they hadn’t first experienced it. St. Peter was very weak indeed. The Lord strengthened him by asking him three times, “Peter, do you love me?” This was followed by another strengthening when the Holy Spirit was sent. Likewise, Paul was weak at first but he was made strong. “I am certain”, he said, that neither death nor life nor angels nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate me from the love of God”. Something very like this is true of all of us. We were weak but we have been given strength in Christ to build up the Church in our community and nation. Don’t be afraid! Trust in the Lord always and follow in his footsteps. The Lord gives strength to do his will.  St. Aelred of Rievaulx

There are the gates of our true country, the two lights of the immense world. There Paul’s voice is heard like thunder; there Peter withholds or hurls the bolt . The former opens the hearts of men, the latter opens Heaven. Peter is the Foundation-stone, Paul the Architect of the temple where stands the Altar by which God is propitiated. Both together form a single Fountain, which pours out its healing and refreshing waters.  St. Venantius Fortunatus

Today the Lord repeats to me, to you… Follow Me!  Waste no time in questioning or in useless chattering;  do not dwell on secondary things but look to what is essential and follow Me.  Follow Me without regard for the difficulties.  Follow Me in preaching the Gospel.  Follow Me by the witness of a life shaped by the grace you received in baptism….. and holy orders.  Follow Me by speaking of Me, to those with whom you live, day after day,  in your work, your conversations and among your friends.  Follow Me by proclaiming the Gospel to all, especially to the least among us,  so that no one will fail to hear the word of life, which sets us free from every fear  and enables us to trust in the faithfulness of God.  Follow Me!  (Pope Francis)




General Intercessions (Church of England)

Father, your Son called men and women to leave the past behind them and to follow him as his disciples in the way of the cross. Look with mercy upon those whom he calls today, marks with the cross and makes his disciples within the Church.

Your Son told his disciples not to be afraid and at Easter breathed on them his gift of peace. Look with mercy upon the world into which he sent them out, and give it that peace for which it longs.

Your Son formed around him a company who were no longer servants but friends, and he called all those who obeyed him his brother and sister and mother. Look with mercy upon our families and our friends and upon the communities in which we share.

Your Son sent out disciples to preach and heal the sick. Look with mercy on all those who yearn to hear the good news of salvation, and renew among your people the gifts of healing.

Your Son promised to those who followed him that they would sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel and would share the banquet of the kingdom. According to your promise, look with mercy on those who have walked with Christ in this life and now have passed through death.

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Jesus Christ himself as the chief cornerstone: so join us together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


OFFERTORY HYMN (Benjamin Britten)
"Thou shalt make them princes over all the earth; they shall remember Thy name, O Lord. Instead of thy fathers, sons are born to thee; therefore shall the people praise thee. Alleluia. Thou art Peter. And upon this rock I will build my church. Alleluia".



“Thou art the Christ, O Lord,
The Son of God most high!”
For ever be adored
That Name in earth and sky,
In which, though mortal strength may fail,
The saints of God at last prevail!
Oh, surely he was blest
With blessedness unpriced,
Who, taught of God, confessed
The Godhead in the Christ!
For of Thy Church, Lord, Thou didst own
Thy saint a true foundation ston
Thrice fallen, thrice restored!
The bitter lesson learnt,
That heart for Thee, O Lord,
With triple ardor burnt.
The cross he took he laid not down,
Until he grasped the martyr’s crown.
Oh, bright triumphant faith!
Oh, courage void of fears!
Oh, love most strong in death!
Oh, penitential tears!
By these, Lord, keep us lest we fall,
And make us go where Thou shalt call.