This Sunday we would have been having our Open Air Mass in the grounds of St Anselm’s school. It is the one Sunday in the year when we cancel all the Masses at the Church that day so that we have the opportunity to be together as one parish family, centred on the Eucharist. The food afterwards helps us to form closer links with each other socially and expresses our unity in Christ.
Today is also the feast Sts Peter and Paul. This is a solemnity in the Church when we celebrate the two pillars of the Church. They were so different. Peter was a humble ordinary fisherman and Paul a highly educated Pharisee. Both were flawed figures. Peter denied Jesus three times; he seemed to be impetuous and tended to speak before thinking. Paul fell out with his travel companions and knew his weaknesses. This is what he writes in his second letter to the Corinthians, ‘ “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.’
This is a great encouragement to me because I am so aware of my faults, limitations and sinfulness yet God calls me to share in the priesthood of Jesus. We don’t have to be perfect before becoming an instrument of God’s love and healing.
Today we also mark the anniversary of the election of the Holy Father, Pope Francis. The actual anniversary is on 13th March but as the date is always during Lent, by the decision of the Bishops Conference, the anniversary is marked today. As successor of Peter we thank God for the many ways Pope Francis has encouraged us during this time of pandemic.