LITURGY

Saints Peter and Paul

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WORD OF GOD
You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.
(Matthew 16:18)

WORD FOR TODAY
Peter and Paul passed on the authentic living tradition of Christ. Where do you look today for this message? Do you think you have any role in handing it on it from your generation to the next one?

WORDS FOR WORSHIP
Lord Jesus, you call us to preach the good news of salvation to the ends of the earth: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ Jesus, you rescue us in times of trouble and distress: Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you offer us the crown of righteousness: Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
May almighty God have mercy on us, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, forgive our sins and keep us safe for eternal life. Amen.

FAITH IN FOCUS: CHURCH
On the outskirts of a small French village during World War II, some soldiers took the body of their friend to the local cemetery. When the priest saw them he stopped them and said, “You can’t bury your friend here if he is not a Catholic.” Discouraged but not defeated, the boys buried their fellow soldier just outside the cemetery fence. When they came to pay their respects the next morning, they could not find the grave. They questioned the priest about it, and he said, “The first part of the night I stayed awake disturbed by what I had told you. The second part of the night I spent moving the fence.” The fellowship of the Church provides a oneness in Christ Jesus that overcomes our individual differences.
It’s become fashionable these days to criticise the Church and there’s no doubt that those of us who are members of the Church often give others good reason to do so. The world seems to be divided into uncritical lovers of the Church and unloving critics of it. Many even claim that the days of the Church are numbered.
It’s true that the Church has made mistakes throughout history and continues to do so. Thank God they are not irreversible. It’s also true that we have given bad example. Thank God the Church is not simply human. For the Church is founded not on a set of rules or ideals but on a person: Jesus Christ. And Jesus’ only wish is that we should know the sort of God that we have and enjoy the promises that our God makes to us.
The role of the Church is not to possess power or to exercise control. The function of the Church is to evangelise, to proclaim the best piece of news ever to hit the cosmos: that we are loved by our maker and saved by his Son.
The Church, when Christ is allowed to speak, transforms lives and draws people into a communion of love and compassion that respects no one’s origin or status, going beyond its own members to embrace all God’s creation.
The Church is born anew every day. It needs you and me to cooperate with God’s grace so that all people might know the glory of God and share in the happiness of being called by him to a life that knows no bounds.
And not even the gates of hell can hold out against it.

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