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All Issues > Volume 14, Issue 4

<< Monday, June 29, 1998 >> Sts. Peter & Paul
Acts 12:1-11
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

View Readings
Psalm 34
Matthew 16:13-19

Similar Reflections


"I will build My Church." —Matthew 16:18

The Church is founded on the apostles (Eph 2:20; Rv 21:14), especially on Peter, the first Pope, and on Paul, an apostle and the first Christian missionary. Therefore, today's solemn feast day of Saints Peter and Paul is a celebration in which we thank the Lord for His great gift to us of the Church.

The Church is the body of Christ (see e.g. Eph 1:22-23) and the bride of Christ (Eph 5:25-27; Rv 22:17). The Church was founded by Jesus Himself (Mt 16:18). It belongs to Jesus and is in the process of being built by Jesus (Mt 16:18). Jesus calls the Church "My Church." Jesus has given Peter, his successors, and the Church the keys of the kingdom (Mt 16:19). The Church has Jesus' authority to bind and loose and to attack and conquer the gates of hell (Mt 16:18-19). It is "God's household" and "the pillar and bulwark of truth" (1 Tm 3:15).

The Church is "the fullness of Him Who fills the universe in all its parts" (Eph 1:23). Jesus exalts the Church by identifying with her. He proclaims that, if we listen to the Church, we listen to Him (Lk 10:16) and, if we persecute the Church, we persecute Him (Acts 9:4). Considering what the Lord has revealed to us about His Church, we must love the Church as Jesus does and lay down our lives for her (Eph 5:25).

Prayer: Jesus, give me Your heart for the Church. I will accept Your grace to forgive those members of the Church who have hurt me.
Promise: "Peter was thus detained in prison, while the Church prayed fervently to God on his behalf." —Acts 12:5
Praise: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I myself (Paul) am the worst. But on that very account I was dealt with mercifully, so that in me, as an extreme case, Jesus Christ might display all His patience, and that I might become an example to those who would later have faith in Him and gain everlasting life" (1 Tm 1:15-16).
(For related teaching, order our leaflet, Thankful to be Catholic.)
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997
The Nihil obstat and Imprimatur are a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free from doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil obstat and Imprimatur agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 14, Issue 4
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