Monday, June 30, 2008

To All Who Have Longed

Yesterday, the celebrations for the 150th Anniversary of the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in NYC culminated with an 11 a.m. Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. It was also the first day of a jubilee year the Church has dedicated to Saint Paul on what we think is the 2000th anniversary of his birth.

The principal celebrant and homilist of the Mass was Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the papal nuncio to the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The second reading at the Mass was a memorable one. From the Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy:

I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.

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. The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.

And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.

To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel at Mass featured Peter. From Matthew Chapter 16:

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples,“Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply,“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The image of Saint Paul above is from

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