Dear Parishioners of St. James:
Praised be Jesus Christ!
As we Americans celebrate the beginning of our country on July 4th, the Church celebrated the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29th. These two pillars of the Church Our Lord Himself founded represent the mission of the Church: to sanctify, teach and shepherd God’s people unto salvation.
St. Peter, the first pope, was chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ the King to be His prime minister. To Peter Jesus gave the keys to the kingdom of heaven. The pope is the visible sign of unity for the whole Church. He has the authority and responsibility to shepherd the Church in time – to be in the world but not of the world (cf. Jn 17:14).
St. Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, is the founder of Western civilization. He was Jewish by birth but Christian by God’s choice. A Roman citizen, he was raised in a Greek culture. His life, teachings and missionary activity in the Middle East, Asia and Europe form the very basis for civilization as we know it. How we relate to God, government, culture, worship and morality came from St. Paul. He is the model for all who seek to be followers of Jesus Christ, Who alone gives us eternal life.
As we rightfully thank God for our dear country and seek to preserve its goodness in the midst of modern attacks, we should be infinitely more grateful to God for the gift of His Church founded on Peter’s authority and Paul’s fearless preaching. May these two great saints intercede for us now and always keep the Church from error and lukewarmness as she sojourns in this world.
God bless you,