Acts 12:1-11 | Ps. 34:2-9 | 2Tim. 4:6-8, 17-18 | Mt. 16:13-19
Today is the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Thus, all the readings refer to these great saints of our church. In the Gospel, Jesus asks the apostles who people think He is. Peter responds that He is the Messiah. Jesus tells Peter that it was God who revealed this to him. Jesus then makes Peter the head of the church. The reading from Acts relates the story of the arrest of Peter. The entire church prays for him and God hears their prayers–and Peter is freed. Paul tells us that he realizes that his life is at an end. He recognizes that he has lived well and responded to God’s Word positively. Because of this, he knows that God will reward him when he dies. Paul also tells us that all who long for God and live according to the Gospel will also receive this same reward.
Throughout all the readings there is a call to respond to God’s Word. Doing so, will lead us to freedom. Freedom is internal. At times, we may be freed from external difficulties, but that might not always be the case. Both Peter and Paul died. We will also have to take up our cross and walk in places that God leads us. Our reward is not necessarily received while on earth. Ask God for the grace to live each day according to God’s Word. Ask for the gifts you need to do so. Be assured that God will lead you to freedom.