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Sunday, June 29, 2008

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Sts. Peter & Paul

Acts 12:1-11
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
Psalm 34
Matthew 16:13-19

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make a break

"The chains dropped from Peter's wrists." —Acts 12:7

Often we put ourselves in self-made jails of sin, fear, self-hatred, unforgiveness, or confusion. We may even merit being persecuted and thrown into a real jail. Nonetheless, no matter what kind of jail we're in, we all need to know how to get out of jail.

Like Peter, we get out of jail by:

  • communal prayer. "Peter was thus detained in prison, while the Church prayed fervently to God on his behalf" (Acts 12:5).
  • putting on our belts (Acts 12:8). The truth is the belt which protects our loins, the area of our sexual organs (Eph 6:14). True, holy, committed relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ help us overcome sexual temptations and can get us out of jail.
  • putting on our sandals (Acts 12:8). Our sandals represent "zeal to propagate the gospel of peace" (Eph 6:15). As we proclaim the good news of forgiveness and reconciliation in Jesus, we set ourselves and many others free from jail.
  • putting on our cloaks (Acts 12:8). In the Bible, the cloak is sometimes a sign of discipleship (see 1 Kgs 19:19). When we obey Jesus' command to make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19), we will not only be out of jail ourselves, but also break others out of jail.

Jesus frees us from jail by calling us to communal prayer, empowering us to be sexually pure, sending us to proclaim reconciliation and forgiveness, and commanding us to be His disciples and to make disciples of all nations. You can break out of jail anytime you decide to accept God's grace. "Make a break."

Prayer:  Jesus, on this great feast day of Peter and Paul, set me free so I will really be free (Jn 8:36).

Promise:  "I will entrust to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." —Mt 16:19

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, Who broke our chains to mortality.

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008

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