The Dedication of the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul
The Basilica of St Peter, today known as the Vatican Basilica is the seat of Catholicity and built over the tomb of St Peter the first Pope. Over Paul’s grave is built another magnificent Catholic Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls. On the anniversary of the dedication of the basilicas of St Peter at the Vatican and St Paul in the Via Ostiense, we join a tradition of honouring the two greatest apostles of Christ.
Entrance Antiphon: Ps 87: 3
Let my prayer come into your presence. Incline your ear to my cry for help, O Lord.
Almighty and merciful God, graciously keep from us all adversity, so that, unhindered in mind and body alike, we may pursue in freedom of heart the things that are yours. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Wisdom 18:14-16, 19: 6-9
When peaceful silence lay over all, and night had run the half of her swift course, down from the heavens, from the royal throne, leapt your all-powerful Word; into the heart of a doomed land the stern warrior leapt. Carrying your unambiguous command like a sharp sword, he stood, and filled the universe with death; he touched the sky, yet trod the earth. For, to keep your children from all harm, the whole creation, obedient to your commands, was once more, and newly, fashioned in its nature. Overshadowing the camp there was the cloud, where water had been, dry land was seen to rise, the Red Sea became an unimpeded way, the tempestuous flood a green plain; sheltered by your hand, the whole nation passed across, gazing at these amazing miracles. They were like horses at pasture, they skipped like lambs, singing your praises, Lord, their deliverer.
Psalm 104(105):2-3, 36-37, 42-43
R/ Remember the wonders the Lord has done.
O sing to him, sing his praise; tell all his wonderful works! Be proud of his holy name, let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice.
He struck all the first-born in their land, the finest flower of their sons. He led out Israel with silver and gold. In his tribes were none who fell behind.
For he remembered his holy word, which he gave to Abraham his servant. So he brought out his people with joy, his chosen ones with shouts of rejoicing.
Gospel Acclamation: Jm1:21
Alleluia, alleluia! Accept and submit to the word which has been planted in you and can save your souls. Alleluia!
Gospel: Luke 18:1-8
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the need to pray continually and never lose heart. “There was a judge in a certain town,” he said, “who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, ‘I want justice from you against my enemy!’ For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, ‘Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death.’ And the Lord said, “You notice what the unjust judge has to say? Now will not God see justice done to his chosen who cry to him day and night even when he delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them, and done speedily. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find any faith on earth?”
Prayer over the Offerings
Look with favour, we pray, O Lord, upon the sacrificial gifts offered here, that, celebrating in mystery the Passion of your Son, we may honour it with loving devotion. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 22: 1-2
The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green are the pastures where he gives me repose, near restful waters he leads me.
Prayer after Communion
Nourished by this sacred gift, O Lord, we give you thanks and beseech your mercy, that by the pouring forth of your Spirit, the grace of integrity may endure in those your heavenly power has entered. Through Christ our Lord.
The role of the judge is to defend the Law or legislation and to apply it in contentious cases. But, like some people, the judge in the Gospel does not fear God and does not respect anyone. Fortunately, the widow shows her faith. She insists on justice against her adversary, becoming ipso facto a paradigm of faith and perseverance for everyone. What does it teach us? It teaches us courage, hope and perseverance in everything: trial, danger, illness, persecution and especially prayer. The latter is part of the expression and manifestation of our faith. May the Lord grant us the strength and grace to remain perseverant in prayer.