Sunday Mass for Ss Peter and Paul
The Sunday Mass for the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul has been recorded and is available to watch on The Most Holy Redeemer's Youtube Channel.
To view the recorded Mass, click here. (Available shortly after 6pm on 27/06/2020)
Readings for Mass: Universalis
Mass Sheet: Ss Peter & Paul Mass Sheet
Children's Liturgy: No Children's Liturgy
Mass will also be celebrated live via the phone link at 10am.
To dial in, use the following details:
- Phone 0333 0112 308
- Enter Room Access Key:158 558 54# followed by PIN Code 5286#
Homily for Feast of St Peter and Paul:
If you are one of the few people who still carry cash nowadays, you may have a two pound coin sitting in your pocket or in your car. Around the edge of the two pound coin is an inscription which goes all around it. And the inscription reads: "standing on the shoulders of giants." Now you might think that this is quite a strange phrase to have engraved on a coin but in fact it comes from a letter written by the greatest scientist this country has ever produced: Sir Isaac Newton.
Newton, of course, was the scientist who first discovered the law of gravity when he was sitting in his garden and saw an apple falling from a tree. He realised that the reason why the apple fell in a straight line was because the earth was pulling the apple to itself.
Because of this discovery Newton is often considered to be a genius but despite his undoubted ability he was also quick to recognise the debt of gratitude he owed to those who had prepared the ground before him. In 1676 Newton wrote to a fellow scientist called Robert Hooke and in the letter he said: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giant."
I think these words are particularly pertinent as we celebrate the Feast of St Peter and Paul. Not only do they capture the immense achievements of the two apostles Peter and Paul, the two pillars upon which our church is built, but they also reflect the debt of gratitude that we have to an early generation of parishioners who helped establish our primary school, St Peter's, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
It was in 1969 that the building of a new primary school began in South Green, on land which had first been bequeathed to the diocese before World War Two. And it was a year later, on the 1st of June 1970 that St Peter's Primary School opened. In its first year it had a role of 87 pupils. Today it has 420. And the reason why St Peter's has been able to grow is because of the generosity of so many parishioners over the years.
In the years leading up to 1969, a regular feature in this parish was the weekly outdoor collections when parishioners would visit Catholic households to collect 2 bob from each family (the equivalent of 10 pence today). The reason why families were prepared to give money to support the building of a primary school is because they recognised the importance of education and they wanted their children and their grandchildren to have the benefit of a Catholic education.
For these families the words of St Paul in our second reading ring true: "I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith."
But now it is our turn and, like the generations before us, we too face some profound challenges. Both St Peter and Paul ended up being martyred for the faith, Paul through beheading, Peter through crucifixion. Thankfully, today we don't face the same threat but we do run the risk of becoming irrelevant, of forgetting our rich heritage and abandoning the devotions and practices that our forebears fought so hard for. We don't want to be the generation that dropped the ball when it came to the passing on of the faith. As one commentator wryly pointed out: "God has no grandchildren."
In the gospel Jesus asks Peter and all of the apostles a very simple question: "who do you say I am?". Now Jesus is asking us the same question: "who do you say I am?" Both Peter and Paul and our forebears knew the answer to that question. Our prayer is that in another fifty years, when St Peter's is celebrating its centenary, the answer may be the same: "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God."