Fr. Seamus homily for feast of Sts Peter and Paul

St Peter and Paul – 2018:  – Acts: 12:1-11; TIM 4;6-8, 17-18;
MT 16:13-19

Yesterday, June 28,  we celebrated the feast of St Irenaeus (ca 130 –
ca.200), bishop and martyr, one of the most important thinkers in the
early Christian Church. St Irenaeus calls the Church at Rome, “the
greatest and most ancient Church, founded by two glorious apostles, Peter
and Paul.” Peter and Paul are often mentioned in the same breath, and both are the principal patrons of Rome. The conversion of Paul is celebrated
January 25.

Yesterday, June 28, in a ceremony at St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican,
Pope Francis, successor to St Peter created 14 new cardinals. During the
ceremony, Pope Francis said, “The only credible form of authority is born
of sitting at the feet of others in order to serve.”

During the ceremony, the Pope explained, “It is the authority that comes
from never forgetting that Jesus, before bowing his head on the cross, did
not hesitate to bow down and wash the feet of his disciples. None of us
must feel superior to anyone; none of us should look down at others from
above. The only time we can look at a person in this way is when we are
helping them to stand up.” The Pope said that Jesus’ statement to his
disciples that “whoever would be first among you must be slave of all”
should be the beatitude and the Magnificat that we are called to sing
daily. The church’s authority grows with this ability to defend the
dignity of others, to anoint them and to heal their wounds and their
frequently dashed hopes.”

The pope reflected in his homily on a portion of Mark’s Gospel where Jesus
walks ahead of the disciples as they journey to Jerusalem. “The evangelist
does not shrink from disclosing secrets present in the hearts of the
disciples as they journey to Jerusalem: their quest of honors, jealousy,
envy, intrigue, accommodation and compromise,” Francis said. “This kind of thinking not only wears and eats away at their relationship, but also
imprisons them in useless and petty discussions. Jesus teaches us that
conversion, change of heart and church reform is and ever shall be in a
missionary key, which demands an end to looking out for and protecting our own interests, becoming effective ‘roadblocks,’ whether because of our
shortsightedness or our useless wrangling about who is most important.”

There are now 125 Electors – cardinals under the age of 80 eligible to
vote in the next conclave to elect a new pope,  successor to St Peter.