"Peter, You Must
Crucifixion of St. Peter
(Masaccio - 1426)
On this 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time we encounter Jesus' famous rebuke of his Apostle Peter (Mt 16: 21-27).
In last Sunday's gospel reading Jesus had distinguished Peter above his peers and elevated him from "Simon" to "Peter", or "rock", for it was upon this Rock that Jesus would build his Church. Peter was rewarded or rather confirmed as highest among the first "overseers" of Christ's Church since through a revelation of the Father in heaven Peter declared unabashedly that Jesus was the Son of the living God.
This declaration and the knowledge it afforded was astounding to the Apostles, so it was all the more astounding that Jesus then began to show them that he must suffer and be killed and be raised on the third day. Peter with his new established authority took the Lord aside and rebuked him, "God forbid Lord! No such thing should happen to you."
We cannot blame Peter too much for his actions. He still didn't understand was "raised from the dead" meant in terms of application or salvation. Peter had just declared Jesus to be God, the pearl of priceless price, and was this pearl now to be cast before swine! Peter just began to understand the glory of Jesus, the glory that he was to witness directly at the Transfiguration, so how could this glorious God be delivered unto unbelievers and murderers - in other words, unto men?
But Jesus is quick to respond to Peter is his divine authority; he chides Peter and even accuses Peter as acting in the role of Satan, the role of temptor. Jesus was God for sure, and he has a divine will. But Jesus was God-made-man and therefore he possesses also a human will. Peter the oracle had now become Peter the obstacle. Jesus' will was being tested by his faithful Apostle as a foretaste of the temptation he would undergo in his agony in the garden; the great agony brought on by the temptations of his human flesh, the world and the devil himself.
Jesus' will is always in conformity with his divine Father's will and Jesus was determined to deny his human desires for his divine purpose. He tells his disciples that they too must deny themselves, that they must offer themselves and their earthly lives if they are to gain everlasting life. After Jesus rose from the dead he even specifically reveals to Peter how Peter would follow him in self-denial: "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." (This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) (Jn 21: 18-19)
The gospel reading concludes with Jesus asking his Apostles, "What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?" He asks us the same question.
Be in the Presence of Jesus: On Easter Day some of Jesus' disciples who knew of his suffering and death on the cross just two days prior, were walking and talking and probably lamenting over the horrific crucifixion of the person they thought was the Messiah, the Savior of the world. They were on their way to Emmaus, a town some seven miles distant from Jerusalem. The resurrected Jesus caught up with them, "but their eyes were kept from recognizing him." (Lk 24:16) They told Jesus of the great prophet who had been delivered up to death, and that even now his body was not in the tomb where his disciples had laid him. They did not undrstand.
Jesus therefore explained to them all the prophecies concerning the Messiah and how he was to suffer and all the mysteries that related to him and their hearts were "burning" inside them at his words and presence. Then Jesus, "took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight." (Lk 24:30-31).
The Eucharist is an eye-opener! It is in the Eucharist that Catholics most recognize Jesus here on earth. It is important to note that St. Luke in his gospel states that the disciples recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread and not in the "bread" itself. This is because the bread was no longer mere bread but the same Body of Christ that the Lord fed his Apostles at The Last Supper. This post-Easter encounter on the way to Emmaus was a training session in the Real Presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus the physical person vanished, however Jesus the Holy Eucharist remained! It is in the blessing and breaking - the consecration of the bread into the Body of Christ - that the Church was expected to recognize Jesus until his Second Coming.
It takes grace and faith to recognize Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. In the Eucharist, one's eyes are kept from recognizing him, however one's mind and heart and soul burns in recognition. Catholics must pray fervently for this grace and the grace of Adoration, and the best place to do this is before the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.
Come to the parish church of St. Francis Xavier of Acushnet and pray before the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. It is only in doing so that you will come to greater understanding by being in the Real Presence of Jesus, just as the men on their way to Emmaus recognized Jesus, only after he vanished from their sight, in the Most Holy Eucharist.
Parish Rosary CD is available for $5.00.
Copies are available at the parish office.
It is also sold on iTunes.
You can click on image and play the Rosary from this site.
Got Evening Prayer? We do! Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening in the parish church beginning at 6:30pm & concluding before 7:00pm. Please look for more information about Evening Prayer under the above home page heading: Parish Life & Liturgy
The church is open for prayer every day. Please call the office at 508 - 995 - 7600 if you require use of our wheel-chair lift.
New Season: Beginning in late September we will begin a new season of presentations for adults in the area of Catholic adult education. We have ten sessions that run from September 2014 through April 2015. We hope that many parishioners, and perhaps some visitors, will attend these very informative, and formative, instructions. A program brochure will soon be available showing the full schedule and subject matter of these presentations for adults.
Baseball and Boom: Its that time again for our annual parish outing to McCoy Stadium to see the Pawtucket Red Sox. On Labor Day weekend (on August 31st) parishioners will travel to Pawtucket via chartered bus to watch the game and the post-game fireworks. Tickets are $16 each and this includes the cost of the bus ride. Please call the parish office if interested.
Coming to St. Francis Xavier Parish: on Saturday, September 6th is our annual Day with Mary. This a full day of celebration of the love of Mary for her children or disciples of her divine Son. There will be Holy Mass on this day at 10am rather than the usual 9am. Please call the parish office with any questions. The full schedule of events for that day is posted in the parish church.
Recent Photo's & Events
May 04, 2014
St. Francis Xavier of Acushnet is a lively parish with many activities and opportunities for worship, prayer, and community. We extend to you an invitation to our parish family in hopes that you may join in our devotions and our reverent celebration of Holy Mass. Please contact us with any questions you have regarding our parish and living a life in the Catholic faith.
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