st.-paul

[T]he iconographic tradition represents Saint Paul with a sword, and we know that this was the instrument with which he was killed. Yet as we read the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles, we discover that the image of the sword refers to his entire mission of evangelization. For example, when he felt death approaching, he wrote to Timothy: “I have fought the good fight” (2 Tim 4:7). This was certainly not the battle of a military commander but that of a herald of the Word of God, faithful to Christ and to his Church, to which he gave himself completely. And that is why the Lord gave him the crown of glory and placed him, together with Peter, as a pillar in the spiritual edifice of the Church.
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Pope Benedict XVI, Homily (June 29, 2012)

Happy feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul!

“You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. 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” (Mt 16:18-19).
 
These words are overwhelming. The authority which Christ hands over to the Apostles, that of the keys of the kingdom of heaven and that of binding and loosing, is given to them in the person of Peter and in union with him. An unfathomable mystery!
 
Today’s feast of the martyrdom of the holy Apostles reveals what is the true meaning of this authority: it is service. Peter, Paul and Andrew served even to the shedding of their blood, just as Christ had done before them: “For the Son of Man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45). The Apostles were called to participate in their Master’s service: a service by which they were able to give the ultimate testimony; a service which was their true strength, their glory in Christ who died and rose again.
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Pope St. John Paul II, Homily (June 29, 1995)

Happy feast day of Sts. Peter and Paul!

VIVARINI BARTOLOMEO / Sts Paul And Peter

SOLEMNITY OF STS PETER AND PAUL
Homily of Bl. John-Paul II
June 29th

“Who do you say that I am?” (Mt 16: 15)

Jesus asks the disciples this question about his identity while he is with them in upper Galilee. It often happened that they would ask Jesus questions; now it is he who questions them. His is a precise question that awaits an answer. Simon Peter speaks for them all: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16: 16).

The answer is extraordinarily clear. The Church’s faith is perfectly reflected in it. We are reflected in it too. The Bishop of Rome, his unworthy successor by divine will, is particularly reflected in Peter’s words. (…)

“You are the Christ!”. Jesus replies to Peter’s confession: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 16: 17)

Blessed are you, Peter! Blessed because you could not have humanly recognized this truth, which is central to the Church’s faith, except by God’s action. “No one”, Jesus said, “knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt 11: 27).

We are reflecting on this extraordinarily rich Gospel passage: the incarnate Word had revealed the Father to his disciples; now is the moment when the Father himself reveals his only Only-begotten Son to them. Peter receives inner enlightenment and courageously proclaims: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!”.

These words on Peter’s lips come from the depths of God’s mystery. They reveal the intimate truth, the very life of God. And Peter, under the action of the divine Spirit, becomes a witness and confessor of this superhuman truth. His profession of faith thus forms the firm basis of the Church’s faith: “On this rock I will build my Church” (Mt 16: 18). The Church of Christ is built on Peter’s faith and fidelity.

The first Christian community was very conscious of this. As the Acts of the Apostles recount, when Peter was in prison it gathered to raise an earnest prayer to God for him (cf. Acts 12: 5). It was heard, because Peter’s presence was still necessary for the community as it took its first steps: the Lord sent his angel to free him from the hands of his persecutors (cf. ibid., 12: 7-11). It was written in God’s plan that Peter, after long strengthening his brothers in faith, would undergo martyrdom here in Rome together with Paul, the Apostle of the nations, who had also escaped death several times.

“The Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the word fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it” (2 Tm 4: 17).

These are the words of Paul to his faithful disciple Timothy: we heard them in the second reading. They testify to what the Lord accomplished in him after he chose him as a minister of the Gospel and “grasped” him on the road to Damascus (cf. Phil 3: 12).

The Lord had come to him in a blaze of light, saying: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? ” (Acts 9: 4), while a mysterious force threw him to the ground. “Who are you, Lord?”, Saul had asked him. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting!” (Acts 9: 5). This was Christ’s answer. Saul had been persecuting Jesus’ followers, and Jesus told him that it was he himself who was being persecuted in them. He, Jesus of Nazareth, the Crucified One who Christians said had risen. If Saul now experienced his powerful presence, it was clear that God really had raised him from the dead. He, in fact, was the Messiah awaited by Israel; he was the Christ living and present in the Church and in the world!

Could Saul have understood with his reason alone all that such an event entailed? Certainly not! It was, in fact, part of God’s mysterious plan. It would be the Father who would give Paul the grace of knowing the mystery of the redemption accomplished in Christ. It would be God who would enable him to understand the marvellous reality of the Church, which lives for Christ, with Christ and in Christ. And he, who had come to share in this truth, would continuously and tirelessly proclaim it to the very ends of the earth.

From Damascus, Paul would begin his apostolic journey which would lead him to spread the Gospel in so many parts of the then known world. His missionary zeal would thus help to fulfill the command Christ gave to the Apostles: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations …” (Mt 28: 19).(…)

The full unity of the Church!

I feel Christ’s command echoing within me. It is a particularly urgent command at the beginning of this new millennium. Let us pray and work for this, without ever growing weary of hoping. (…)

May God grant us to achieve as soon as possible the full unity of all believers in Christ. May we obtain this gift through the Apostles Peter and Paul, who are remembered by the Church of Rome on this day that commemorates their martyrdom and therefore their birth to life in God. For the sake of the Gospel they accepted suffering and death, and became sharers in the Lord’s Resurrection. Their faith, confirmed by martyrdom, is the same faith as that of Mary, the Mother of believers, of the Apostles and of the saints of every age.

Today the Church again proclaims their faith. It is our faith, the Church’s unchanging faith in Jesus, the only Saviour of the world; in Christ, the Son of the living God, who died and rose for us and for all humanity.


- Copyright © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Meet Minnesota’s first Somali woman police officer

The Twin Cities has the largest Somali community outside of Somalia, and one Somali woman is one of the latest to be sworn in to a metro area police department.

Kadra Mohammed is one of the first 12 new Metro Transit Police Officers. “I’m excited, definitely excited.” She is the first sworn in female Somali officer in Minnesota and quite possibly the country. “It’s just a step forward, I plan on making more steps forward in my career, so I’m very excited for that.”

Fox 9 first met Kadra over a year ago when St. Paul police hired her to be a community service officer. She was also the second officer in the country to wear a special hijab with her uniform.

Now, she will have a badge and a gun, while she rides Metro Transit buses and trains.

“She represents that large population of Somali women who use transit. I hope when they see her on the train on the bus they feel more comfortable.” Said Chief John Harrington

The first Somali sergeant in the US, Waheid Siraach, who is currently on a leave of absence to train national police back in Somali, awarded Mohammed her badge. “To have first Somali female officer in Minnesota, it’s an historic day for the people of Minnesota and the Somali community.”

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So I got to meet Chris Colfer tonight and he is just so AMAZING~! I can’t even handle his lovely face in person!

I gave him the Cooper and Brian mug that sunshunes sent to me, and he ADORED IT! *this mug HERE —-> http://sunshunes.tumblr.com/post/88584174730/mug-brian-cooper-awwwwww-im-so-happy-of-the *

Me: Hi Chris!

Chris: Hi! What’s your name?

Me: Nicole

Chris: Hi Nicole!

Me: I actually have a gift for you from my friend Agnes who lives in France. She sent this to me to give to you. *gives him mug*

Chris: OH MY GOD! This is so awesome!

Me: Yeah I know! She’s so great!

Chris: She made this?

Me: YES!

Chris: This is so cool! You’ll have to thank her for me!

Me: I will~! *grabs signed book* Thank you so much for coming, Chris!

Chris: Absolutely! Brian’s gonna be SO MAD that Cooper is wearing the crown….

Me: *cracks up* Thank you again!

I hope Agnes is somewhere crying right now, because real friends make eachother cry. It’s true. I looked it up on wikipedia, which is never wrong.