Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

SS Peter and Paul, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Sundays in Ordinary Time 30 June, 7 and 14 July

Ss Peter & Paul (Matthew 16:13-19)

Today, we celebrate the feast of the two great apostles, Peter and Paul. One was with Jesus at the beginning of his ministry and accompanied him until the end. His faith was sorely tested by seeing his Messiah suffer. The life of the other was dramatically changed by an encounter with the Risen Jesus. From persecuting Christians, he became a preacher of the faith. The reading today, tells of Peter’s faith in Jesus as the Messiah. This faith leads to his commissioning by Jesus. Despite the trials he will face, Peter’s faith endures. Our second reading reminds us that St Paul spent his life travelling and proclaiming the gospel beyond the confines of Judaism. Peter is commonly recalled as the one who preached to the people of Israel. Paul is revered as the ‘apostle of the gentiles’. Christ’s disciples today have come to know the good news because of people like Peter and Paul were brave enough to give their lives for it and to proclaim it to the whole world.

What does the faith of Peter in the gospel reading teach me?

How does the faithful witness of Paul inspire me to spread the good news?

We thank God for all the martyrs who gave, and still give, their lives for the gospel.

We pray for hose who have lost sight of Jesus amid the problems and distractions of life.


Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Mark 6:1-6)

This reading gives us an account of the visit of Jesus to his ‘hometown’ – Nazareth. Here too he teaches in the synagogue on the sabbath. But the reaction is not positive. They know his mother, his relations. His humble origins rule out anything special. ‘And they would not accept him’. This passage is important because it was not only the religious leaders who were against Jesus ‘A prophet is only despised in his own home’. ‘He could work no miracles there’. The healing work of Jesus is not forced on those who do not wish to receive it, and who are not open to the new deeds the Lord is doing.

What does the rejection of Jesus in Nazareth teach us?

What do you think motivated the attitude of Jesus’ compatriots?

Let us pray for those who face opposition because they live according to the values of the gospel.

Let us pray for missionaries and for those who witness to the truth amid injustice.


Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Mark 6:7-13)

Jesus sends the Twelve out in twos with ‘authority over unclean spirits’. They are to take no provisions for the journey. They are allowed a staff and sandals. They must trust that all will be provided. Jesus has already spoken of the rejection of his preaching, the seed not growing to fruition. He warns of the lack of welcome the Twelve may experience. They are to shake the dust off their feet as they depart, showing that they cut all ties with those who refuse the good news. We hear for the first time of the anointing of the sick with oil, and their healing. There are no reports in the gospels of Jesus using oil to anoint the sick.

Do you trust in the providence of God?

How can you offer others the good news of Jesus?

Let us pray for openness to the message of the gospel in our society today.

Let us pray for those who are anointed in the Sacrament of the Sick

                                                                                                                                       .Fr Adrian Graffy