The Catholic Parish of Our Lady
and St John
Lee-on-the -Solent and Stubbington
Parish Priest: Father Francis Sasinowski (01329) 663 435
 St Peter and St Paul Reflection by Father Francis:
Reflection by Fr Francis on the Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul ( 29th June 2020 )

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of two great Apostles – St Peter and St Paul instead a normal Ordinary Sunday.

We would like to pray with a great joy this Opening Prayer of the Mass:

“ God, You give us a holy joy as we celebrate the Solemnity of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul. Grant that Your Church may follow their teaching and example in all things, for it is through them that Christianity began its development. Amen.”

The Entrance Antiphon told us that “ they planted the Church with their blood, as the martyrs, and drank from the chalice of the Lord and in this way became the friends of God.

In the First reading ( from the Acts of the Apostles ) we heard about a persecution of the Church by king Herod. He arrested Peter and put him into a prison. But the Lord miraculously rescued him from prison thanks to a intercessory prayer of the community of Christians in Jerusalem.

The power of the prayer, when we pray for others, is great and can make even miracles!

In the Responsorial Psalm we blessed the Lord, Who can set us free from our terrors.

This is why we “ look towards Him and be glad “ tasting His goodness and being sure of His help and protection.

We need this in the time of “ Coronavirus “!  The Word of God is always relevant to our situation in life and always gives us strength and consolation.

In this Year of the Word of God let us read the pages of the Scripture with faith, hope and love!

In the Second Reading St Paul, the prisoner in Rome, reflected on his apostolic life.
He compared his life to “ a libation, sacrifice for the Lord. “

St Paul might be proud of himself. He had done so much for the propagation of the Gospel.

He run the race to the finish, fought a good fight, kept the faith always. And now he is going to receive a beautiful crown of righteousness from the Lord. Everything that was possible, because  the Lord stood by and gave him power and rescued him from “ the lion`s mouth “.

The Gospel Acclamation presented us with this beautiful and famous statement about St Peter.

Jesus said: “ You are Peter and on this rock I will built my Church… and the gates of hell can never hold out against it.”.

The Church will never be completely defeated or eliminated from the world – this is the promise of Our Lord – despite scandals, abuses, corruption and sinfulness of her members.

Simply because the Church is the Divine Institution, nor merely human organisation, kingdom or empire.

Every Pope is the Vicar of Christ and only His servant, not a ruler or despot!

In the Gospel reading Jesus asked His Apostles - Who Am I? What the people say? And what do you say ?

St Peter has given the best answer – You are CHRIST, the Son of the living God.

He could say this because it was revealed him by the Holy Spirit ( Divine inspiration ).

After that profession of faith by St Peter Christ presented him with “ the keys of the Kingdom “,

the faculty of authority, power of making the final decisions in the Church as the first among the Apostles.

As for characteristics of these two “ giants “ of the Church we may say ( in summary ):

St Peter represents - The Office, Structure, Order, Direction, Leadership etc

St Paul represents -  The Theology, Speculation, Mission, Contact with cultures, Preaching etc

Both Apostles embrace each other and may give the Church the energy, creativity and growth!

They have always been  Two Pillars of the Church and faithfully followed Christ up to the Martyrdom in Rome and won victory over the forces of evil.

We have to: Listen to their teaching with a docile heart
                             Preserve it with devotion and
                                    Transmit it with fidelity

So the message of the Gospel may reach to the ends of the earth!

                                                       For reflection and meditation ( based on today`s readings )

1/   Where are you in need of God`s freeing power in your life?

2/   When you think of the moment of your own death, what are the actions you have done that will give you comfort?

3/   Who is Jesus Christ for you in your life ?

                                                                                                                        Please pray for:

On Sunday 5th July at a Mass at 2.00 pm in our Cathedral, Bishop Philip will be ordaining Matthew King to the priesthood and Anthony Fyk to the diaconate. During the Mass, Edward Hauschild will be instituted as an Acolyte and Ambrose Chou as a Lector. After the Mass during Vespers, Paul Nwune and James Lewis will be admitted to Candidacy and the new students Tom Hiney, Francis Ezeani and Yipeng John Ni will be given a special blessing as they begin their seminary formation. Please pray for all these generous men. For health and safety reasons, the liturgies will be limited to the participants, but please do all you can to encourage the faithful to pray and to follow online.

OUR CHURCHES ARE OPEN NOW ( for Private prayers )

At the moment Our Lady`s Church in Stubbington is open on Monday to Saturday
At 0930 to 1130 hrs and

St John`s Church in Lee on the Solent will be open on Tuesday and Thursday from 30th June
At 0930 to 1130 hrs.

We are hopeful that we may be able to hold Masses again in our churches, possibly from
next Saturday evening, 4th July.  Everything depends on the availability of stewards!

If necessary, we may hold additional Mass at 6pm on Sunday in Stubbington!
You will be informed in the next few days on our Website or by emails.

I would like to express my BIG THANK YOU to Deacon John, David Vassallo, Michael Cassidy, Andrew Collins, David White, the stewards and all involved in enabling of our churches to be open for prayer.

May God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit bless you all in the days ahead!

With assurance of my love and prayer

Fr Francis

PS  Click here to read Bishop Philip's Pastoral Letter for this Sunday.