Thứ Tư, 28 tháng 6, 2017

JUNE 29, 2017 : SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Mass during the Day
Lectionary: 591

Reading 1ACTS 12:1-11
In those days, King Herod laid hands upon some members of the Church to harm them.
He had James, the brother of John, killed by the sword,
and when he saw that this was pleasing to the Jews
he proceeded to arrest Peter also.
–It was the feast of Unleavened Bread.–
He had him taken into custody and put in prison
under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each.
He intended to bring him before the people after Passover.
Peter thus was being kept in prison,
but prayer by the Church was fervently being made
to God on his behalf.

On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial,
Peter, secured by double chains,
was sleeping between two soldiers,
while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison.
Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him
and a light shone in the cell.
He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying,
"Get up quickly."
The chains fell from his wrists.
The angel said to him, "Put on your belt and your sandals."
He did so.
Then he said to him, "Put on your cloak and follow me."
So he followed him out,
not realizing that what was happening through the angel was real;
he thought he was seeing a vision.
They passed the first guard, then the second,
and came to the iron gate leading out to the city,
which opened for them by itself.
They emerged and made their way down an alley,
and suddenly the angel left him. 
Then Peter recovered his senses and said,
"Now I know for certain 
that the Lord sent his angel 
and rescued me from the hand of Herod
and from all that the Jewish people had been expecting."

Responsorial PsalmPS 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (5) The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
R. The angel of the Lord will rescue those who fear him.

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.

AlleluiaMT 16:18
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

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." 


Meditation: "You are the Christ - the Son of the living God"
Today in many churches of the East and West the Apostles Peter and Paul are commemorated. Both were martyred in Rome in the first century. They tirelessly worked for the spread of the gospel, not only to the people of Israel, but to all the nations as well. They risked their lives in the process and gladly poured out their blood in loyalty to their Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul so eloquently stated in his second epistle to Timothy, they courageously fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).
Who do you say I am?
How firm is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ? At an opportune time Jesus tested his disciples with a crucial question: Who do men say that I am and who do you say that I am? (Matthew 16:13). Jesus was widely recognized in Israel as a mighty man of God, even being compared with the greatest of the prophets, John the Baptist, Elijah, and Jeremiah. Peter, always quick to respond, exclaimed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Through the gift of faith Peter recognized that Jesus was the "anointed one" (in Hebrew and Greek the word is translated as Messiah and Christ), and the only begotten Son of God sent by the Father in heaven to redeem a fallen human race. No mortal being could have revealed this to Peter; but only God. Jesus then conferred on Peter authority to govern the church that Jesus would build [which Peter describes as a people redeemed with the precious blood of Christ - First Letter of Peter 1:19], a church that no powers could overcome. Jesus played on Peter's name which is the same word for "rock" in both Aramaic and Greek.
Spiritual rock ad living stones
To call someone a "rock" is one of the greatest of compliments. The ancient rabbis had a saying that when God saw Abraham, he exclaimed: "I have discovered a rock to found the world upon." Abraham put his trust in God and made God's word the foundation of his life and the bedrock of his faith. Through Abraham God established a nation for himself. Through faith Peter grasped who Jesus truly was. He was the first apostle to proclaim that Jesus was truly the Anointed One (Messiah and Christ) and the only begotten Son of God.
The New Testament describes the church, the people of God, as a spiritual house and temple of the Holy Spirit with each member joined together as living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5). Faith in Jesus Christ makes us into rocks - spiritual stones. The Lord Jesus tests each of us personally with the same question: Who do you say that I am?
"Lord Jesus, I profess and believe that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God. You are my Lord and my Savior who has set me free from sin and deception. Make my faith strong like the Apostles Peter and Paul and give me boldness to speak of you to others that they may come to know you as Lord and Savior."
Daily Quote from the early church fathersOnly by hope, by Basil the Great, 329-379 A.D.
"'Turn, O my soul, into your rest: for the Lord has been bountiful to you' (Psalm 114:7). The brave contestant applies to himself the consoling words, very much like to Paul, when he says: 'I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice.' These things the prophet also says to himself: Since you have fulfilled sufficiently the course of this life, turn then to your rest, 'for the Lord has been bountiful to you.' For, eternal rest lies before those who have struggled through the present life observant of the laws, a rest not given in payment for a debt owed for their works but provided as a grace of the munificent God for those who have hoped in him." (excerpt from HOMILIES 22)

SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES
THURSDAY, JUNE 29, MATTHEW 16:13-19

(Acts 12:1-11; Psalm 34; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18)

KEY VERSE: "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven" (v 19).
TO KNOW: Both Peter and Paul are regarded as "pillars" of the Church (Gal 2:9). These Apostles were martyred in Rome under the Emperor Nero in 64 and 67 respectively because of their fearless proclamation of the gospel. Writing near the end of his life, Paul followed the example of Jesus Christ who poured himself out in love for all people. Paul had been part of those who persecuted Christians, but a blinding vision of the resurrected Christ turned him into a missionary, evangelist, and an apostle of the one he once hated and scorned. When Peter declared that Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus conferred upon him the "keys of the kingdom," a symbol of his authority in the Church. The Church regards this as a foundational text for the ordained priesthood and the episcopal governance of the Church. Like Peter and Paul, the source of the Church's authority is the Lord Jesus Christ, whose example of servant leadership should inspire all who aspire to leadership.
TO LOVE:  Saints Peter and Paul, help me to serve the Church with love and zeal.
TO SERVE:  What is my apostolate in the Church?

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
On 29 June we commemorate the martyrdom of both Peter and Paul, apostles. The date of the anniversary is around 258, under the Valerian persecution, when what were believed to be the remains of the two apostles were moved temporarily to prevent them from falling into the hands of the persecutors. The Scriptures do not record the deaths of Peter or Paul, or indeed any of the Apostles except for James the son of Zebedee (Acts 12:2), but from early times it has been said that they were martyred at Rome at the command of the Emperor Nero, and buried there. As a Roman citizen, Paul would probably have been beheaded with a sword. It is said of Peter that he was crucified head downward as he did not believe that he was worthy of dying like his master. The present Church of Saint Peter in Rome replaced earlier churches built on what was believed to be the burial site of Peter 
going back to the time of the Emperor Constantine. 

Saint Augustine wrote: "Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles' blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith" (Sermon 295).




Thursday 29 June 2017

Ss Peter & Paul.
Acts 12:1-11. Psalms 33(34):2-9. 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18. Matthew 16:13-19.
The Lord has set me free from all my fears — Psalms 33(34):2-9. 2
‘Who do you say that I am?’
Peter’s reported response to this question reflects the mature faith he came to only after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Like Paul, with whom he is appropriately associated in today’s feast, he fearlessly proclaimed that faith in word and work in the early church. Both experienced imprisonment at the hand of their enemies and deliverance at the hand of the Lord.
If we wish to be authentic disciples of Jesus, as they assuredly were, we cannot avoid the question, ‘Who do you say I am?’ It is addressed to us today and every day, as is Jesus’ other recorded question to Peter, ‘Do you love me?’
Lord, help me to know and love you better day by day. Only thus may I truly know myself.


STS. PETER AND PAUL

On June 29 the Church celebrates the feast day of Sts. Peter & Paul. As early as the year 258, there is evidence of an already lengthy tradition of celebrating the solemnities of both Saint Peter and Saint Paul on the same day. Together, the two saints are the founders of the See of Rome, through their preaching, ministry and martyrdom there.
Peter, who was named Simon, was a fisherman of Galilee and was introduced to the Lord Jesus by his brother Andrew, also a fisherman. Jesus gave him the name Cephas (Petrus in Latin), which means ‘Rock,’ because he was to become the rock upon which Christ would build His Church.
Peter was a bold follower of the Lord. He was the first to recognize that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” and eagerly pledged his fidelity until death. In his boldness, he also made many mistakes, however, such as losing faith when walking on water with Christ and betraying the Lord on the night of His passion.
Yet despite his human weaknesses, Peter was chosen to shepherd God's flock. The Acts of the Apostles illustrates his role as head of the Church after the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. Peter led the Apostles as the first Pope and ensured that the disciples kept the true faith.
St. Peter spent his last years in Rome, leading the Church through persecution and eventually being martyred in the year 64. He was crucified upside-down at his own request, because he claimed he was not worthy to die as his Lord.
He was buried on Vatican hill, and St. Peter's Basilica is built over his tomb.
St. Paul was the Apostle of the Gentiles. His letters are included in the writings of the New Testament, and through them we learn much about his life and the faith of the early Church.
Before receiving the name Paul, he was Saul, a Jewish pharisee who zealously persecuted Christians in Jerusalem. Scripture records that Saul was present at the martyrdom of St. Stephen.
Saul's conversion took place as he was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christian community there. As he was traveling along the road, he was suddenly surrounded by a great light from heaven. He was blinded and fell off his horse. He then heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He answered: “Who are you, Lord?” Christ said: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
Saul continued to Damascus, where he was baptized and his sight was restored. He took the name Paul and spent the remainder of his life preaching the Gospel tirelessly to the Gentiles of the Mediterranean world.
Paul was imprisoned and taken to Rome, where he was beheaded in the year 67.
He is buried in Rome in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
In a sermon in the year 395, St. Augustine of Hippo said of Sts. Peter and Paul: “Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles' blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.”


LECTIO DIVINA: ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL
Lectio Divina: 
 Thursday, June 29, 2017

Jesus said to Peter, "You are the Rock!"
The Rock of support and of scandal
Matthew 16:13-23
1. OPENING PRAYER
“Lord Jesus, send your Spirit to help us to read the Scriptures with the same mind with which you read them to the disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the light of the Word, written in the Bible, you helped them to discover the presence of God in the disturbing events of your suffering and death. Thus, the cross which had seemed to be the end of all hope became for them the resurrection and source of new life.
Create in us silence so that we may listen to your voice in Creation, in the Scriptures, in events and in people, above all in the poor and suffering. May your word guide us so that we too, like the two disciples from Emmaus, may experience the power of your resurrection and witness to others that you are alive in our midst as source of fraternity, justice and peace. We ask this of you, Jesus, son of Mary, who revealed to us the Father and sent us your Spirit. Amen.”

2. READING
a) A key to the reading:
The liturgical text of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is taken from the Gospel of Matthew: 16:13-19. In our commentary we also include verses 20 -23, because in the entirety of the text, verses 13 to 23, Jesus turns to Peter and twice calls him "rock". Once he calls him the foundation stone (Mt 16:18) and once the rock of scandal (Mt 16:23). Both statements complement each other. While reading the text, it is good to pay attention to Peter's attitude and to the solemn words that Jesus addresses to him on two occasions.
b) A division of the text to help with the reading:
13-14: Jesus wishes to know what people think of him. 
15-16: Jesus asks the disciples and Peter makes his confession: "You are the Christ, the Son of God!"
17-20: Then we have Jesus' solemn reply to Peter (a key phrase for today's feast). 
21-22: Jesus explains the meaning of Messiah, but Peter reacts and refuses to accept.
22-23: Jesus' solemn reply to Peter.
c) The text:
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?" 14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." 
15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" 16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 
17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ. 
21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 
22 And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you." 23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men."
3. A MOMENT OF PRAYERFUL SILENCE
so that the Word of God may penetrate and enlighten our life.
4. SOME QUESTIONS
to help us in our personal reflection.
a) What most caught my attention? 
b) Who do the people think Jesus is? Who do Peter and the disciples think Jesus is?
c) Who is Jesus for me? Who am I for Jesus?
d) Peter is rock in two ways: what are they?
e) What kind of rock is our community? 
f) In the text we find several opinions as to who Jesus is and several ways of presenting the faith. Today too, there are several opinions as to who Jesus is. Which opinions does our community know? What kind of mission does that imply for us?

5. A KEY TO THE READING
to enter deeper into the theme.
i) The context:
In the narrative parts of his Gospel, Matthew follows the sequence of Mark's Gospel. However, he also quotes a source known to him and Luke. Rarely does he give information that is solely his, as in today's Gospel. This text and the dialogue between Jesus and Peter is interpreted variously, even in opposite directions in the various Christian churches. In the Catholic Church, this text forms the basis for the primacy of Peter. Without in any way diminishing the importance of this text, it might be good to situate it in the context of Matthew's Gospel, where, elsewhere, the qualities ascribed to Peter are also attributed to other persons. They do not belong exclusively to Peter.
ii) Commentary on the text:
a) Matthew: 16: 13-16: The opinions of the people and those of the disciples concerning Jesus.
Jesus wishes to know what people think of him. The answers are quite varied: John the Baptist, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. When Jesus asks the disciples' opinion, Peter replies in their name: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" Peter's reply is not new. On a previous occasion, when Jesus walked on the water, the other disciples had made a similar profession of faith: "Truly you are the Son of God!" (Mt 14:33). This is an acknowledgement that in Jesus the prophecies of the Old Testament are fulfilled. In John's Gospel Martha makes the same profession of faith: "You are the Christ, the Son of God who is come into the world" (Jn 11:27).
b) Matthew: 16:17: Jesus' reply to Peter: Blessed are you, Peter! 
Jesus proclaims Peter "blessed" because he has been given a revelation from the Father. Jesus' reply too is not new. On a previous occasion, Jesus had made the same proclamation of blessedness to the disciples because they were hearing and seeing that which no one else knew before (Mt 13:16), and he praised the Father because he had revealed the Son to little ones and not to the learned (Mt 11:25). Peter is one of the little ones to whom the Father reveals himself. The perception that God is present in Jesus does not "come from flesh and blood", it is not the result of study or merit of human effort, but a gift that God gives to whom he pleases.
c) Matthew: 16:18-20: Peter's qualifications: Being foundation stone and taking possession of the keys of the Kingdom.
1. Being Rock: Peter has to be rock, that is, he has to be a strong foundation for the Church, so that she may stand up to the assaults of the gates of hell. Through these words addressed by Jesus to Peter, Matthew encourages the suffering and persecuted communities in Syria and Palestine, who saw in Peter the leadership that had marked them from the beginning. In spite of being weak and persecuted, they had a solid foundation, guaranteed by the words of Jesus. In those days, the communities cultivated a very strong sentimental tie with the leaders who had established them. Thus the communities of Syria and Palestine cultivated their relationship with the person of Peter; those of Greece with the person of Paul; some communities in Asia with the person of the beloved Disciple and others with the person of John of the Apocalypse. Identifying themselves with the leader of their origin helped them to grow better in their identity and spirituality. But this could also give rise to conflict as in the case of the community of Corinth (1Cor 1:11-12).
Being rock as foundation of the faith, recalls to mind the word of God to the people in exile in Babylonia: "Listen to me, you who pursue justice, who seek the Lord; look to the rock from which you were hewn, to the pit from which you were quarried; look to Abraham, your father, and to Sara, who gave you birth; when he was but one I called him, I blessed him and made him many" (Is 51:1-2). When applied to Peter, this quality of foundation stonepoints to a new beginning for the people of God. 
2. The keys of the Kingdom: Peter receives the keys of the Kingdom to bind and to loose, that is, to reconcile people with God. The same power of binding and loosing is given to the communities (Mt 18:8) and to the disciples (Jn 20:23). One of the points on which the Gospel of Matthew insists is reconciliation and pardon (Mt 5:7.23-24.38-42.44-48; 6:14-15; 18:15-35). The reality is that in the 80s and 90s, there were many tensions and divisions within families in the communities in Syria because of faith in Jesus. Some accepted him as Messiah whereas others did not, and this was the source of many contrasting views and conflicts. Matthew insists on reconciliation. Reconciliation kept on being one of the most important tasks of coordinators of the communities. Like Peter they must bind and loose, that is, labour so as to bring about reconciliation, mutual acceptance, and build up true fraternity. 
3. The Church: the word Church, in Greek ekklesia, is found 105 times in the New Testament, almost always in the Acts and the Epistles. We find the word only three times in the Gospels and only in Matthew. The word means "a called assembly" or "chosen assembly". The word applies to the people gathered, called by the Word of God, a people that seeks to live the message of the Kingdom brought by Jesus. The Church is not the Kingdom, but an instrument and a sign of the Kingdom. The Kingdom is greater. In the Church, the community, all must see or should see what happens when a group of people allows God to rule and take possession of its life.
d) Matthew: 16:21-22: Jesus completes what is lacking in Peter's reply, and Peter reacts by not accepting.
Peter had confessed: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!" In keeping with the prevailing ideology of the time, he imagined a glorious Messiah. Jesus corrects him: "It is necessary that the Messiah suffer and be killed in Jerusalem". With the words "it is necessary", he says that suffering had been foreseen in the prophecies (Is 53: 2-8). If the disciples accept Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, then they must accept him also as the Servant Messiah who must die. Not just the triumph of glory but also the way of the cross! But Peter will not accept Jesus' correction and tries to change his mind.
e) Matthew: 16:23: Jesus' reply to Peter: rock of scandal. 
Jesus' reply is surprising: "Get behind me, satan, you are a scandal to me, for you do not mind the things of God, but those of men!"Satan is the one who leads us away from the path marked out for us by God. Jesus literally says: "Get behind me!" (in Latin, vada retro!). Peter wanted to steer and point the way. Jesus says: "Get behind me!" Jesus not Peter is the one who points the way and sets the rhythm. The disciple must follow the master. He must live in constant conversion. Jesus' word was also a message to all those who led the communities. They must "follow" Jesus and they may not go before as Peter wished to do. It is not only they who are able to point the way or the manner. On the contrary, like Peter, instead of being a rock of support, they can become rock of scandal. Such were some leaders of the communities at the time of Matthew. There were ambiguities. The same may happen among us today.
iii) A further explanation of the Gospels concerning Peter: 
A portrait of St. Peter.
Peter was transformed from fisherman of fish to fisherman of men (Mk 1:7). He was married (Mk 1:30). He was a good man and very human. He tended naturally to a role of leadership among the twelve disciples of Jesus. Jesus respected this natural quality and made Peter the leader of his first community (Jn 21:17). Before joining Jesus' community, Peter's name was Simon bar Jona (Mt 16:17), Simon son of Jonah. Jesus nicknamed him Cephas or Rock, and this then became Peter (Lk 6:14).
By nature, Peter could have been anything but rock. He was courageous in speech, but at the hour of danger he fell victim to fear and fled. For instance, when Jesus came walking on the water, Peter asked: "Jesus, can I too come to you on the water?" Jesus replied: "Come, Peter!" Peter then went out of the boat and started walking on the water. But when a bigger wave came along, he got afraid and began to sink. He then cried out: "Save me, Lord!" Jesus took hold of him and saved him (Mt 14:28-31). At the last supper, Peter said to Jesus: "I shall never deny you, Lord!" (Mk 14:31); yet a few hours later, in the palace of the high priest, in front of a servant girl, when Jesus had already been arrested, Peter denied Jesus swearing that he had no connection with him (Mk 14:66-72). In the garden of olives, when Jesus had been arrested, he even used his word (Jn 18:10), but then fled, leaving Jesus alone (Mk 14:50). Peter was not naturally rock! And yet the weak and human Peter, so like us, did become rock because Jesus had prayed for him: "Peter, I have prayed for you so that your faith may not fail; and, when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren" (Lk 22:31-32). That is why Jesus was able to say: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church" (Mt 16:18). Jesus helped him to become rock. After the resurrection, in Galilee, Jesus appeared to Peter and asked him twice: "Peter, do you love me?" And Peter replied twice: "Lord, you know that I love you" (Jn 21:15.16). When Jesus put the same question to him the third time, Peter was hurt. He must have remembered that he had denied him three times. So he answered: "Lord, you know all things! You know that I love you!" It was then that Jesus entrusted to him the care of the sheep: "Peter, feed my sheep!" (Jn 21:17). With Jesus' help, the strength of the rock grew in Peter and he revealed himself on the day of Pentecost. On that day, when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples, Peter opened the doors of the upper room where they were all gathered behind closed doors for fear of the Jews (Jn 20:19), and, infused with courage, began to announce the Good News of Jesus to the people (Acts 2:14-40). From then on he never stopped! On account of this courageous proclamation of the resurrection, he was arrested (Acts 4:3). During the interrogation he was forbidden to announce the good news (Acts 4:18), but Peter did not obey the prohibition. He said: "We must obey God rather then man!" (Acts 4:19; 5:29). He was arrested again (Acts 5:18.26). He was scourged (Acts 5:40). But he said: "Thank you very much. But we shall go on!" (cfr Acts 5:42).
Tradition tells us that at the end of his life, when he was in Rome, Peter had another moment of fear. But then he went back, was arrested and condemned to death on the cross. However, he asked that he might be crucified with his head down. He thought that he was not worthy to die in the same way as his master, Jesus. Peter was true to himself to the very end.
6. PSALM 103 (102)
ThanksgivingBless the Lord, O my soul;
and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.
The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger for ever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor requite us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
so the Lord pities those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord
is from everlasting to everlasting upon those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments. 
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
hearkening to the voice of his word! 
Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will!
Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
7. FINAL PRAYER
Lord Jesus, we thank for the word that has enabled us to understand better the will of the Father. May your Spirit enlighten our actions and grant us the strength to practice that which your Word has revealed to us. May we, like Mary, your mother, not only listen to but also practise the Word. You who live and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.