Daily Reflection for Monday, June 29, 2020
Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Monday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 12:1-11
Responsorial: Psalm 34:2-9
Second Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
Our reflection on Monday’s readings:
“...Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19
Decades ago in grade school in Pittsburgh, I remember being in line for confession at Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament Church. Back then the sacrament of Reconciliation was called confession, and the focus was on the sin and the judgment of the priest rather that on reconciliation with God. Several of us were waiting for our turn to enter one of the three phone booth sized closets to confess to the priest. In that era, the priest would sit in the center booth and the penitents would kneel in either the right or left booth.
I remember being nervous about facing the priest behind the screen. Before it was my turn, Tony who I had never seen attend Sunday Mass, was taking his turn in the confessional. The normal murmuring of confessions was broken by a loud “WHAT?” from the priest and some other loud yelling. Those of us in line felt our knees buckling in fear that Father would be yelling at us next.
Fast forward decades later to a dark and rainy day. I am seated in front of Father Paul on the day of Regina’s and my marriage blessing. Father Paul said that we needed to have Reconciliation right before the blessing. I poured my heart out to Father's probing questions and received absolution. As Father Paul stood to embrace me and welcome me back to the Church, the sun broke through the clouds and a beam of sunlight flashed on the golden embroidery of his stole. As I stood to meet his embrace, I saw not Father Paul but Jesus Himself there to embrace me.
Thank you Simon Peter for recognizing Jesus as the Christ, being the rock of the Church, and passing on the power for Reconciliation.
Love and Blessings,
Deacon John McShea