Second Friday of Denha: Shlihe Mar Kepa and Paulose

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This Friday is dedicated to the memory of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. We know from the Gospels that Jesus Christ made Simon the son of John (Bar Jona) the head of the Apostles and changed his name into Kepa (Peter in Greek = Rock) upon which His Church was built. (Cf.Mt.16:11-19; Lk.22:31-32; Jn.21:15-19). But what about St. Paul whose name was at first Saul? He had never been with Jesus. We know that he was specially chosen by Jesus as we read in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 9:1-16). This book from chapter 13 till the end describes the missionary journeys of St. Paul. They and his epistles bear witness to the missionary activities as well as to the sufferings of St. Paul to propagate the Gospel. Further, his epistles contain the theological explanations of some important Christian doctrines.  All these rightly make St. Paul the Apostle of Christ. Thus these two Apostles represent the whole college of apostles who form the foundation of the Church whose corner stone is Jesus Christ. The Apostles are real witnesses to our Lord’s manifestation and hence the East Syriac tradition celebrates them in these two representatives on the second Friday of Denha.

 

Courtesy of www.montanarchouse.com

The word Apostle comes from the Greek word apostolos which means the one who is sent. The Syriac word Shliha also has got the same meaning. The Apostles Peter and Paul are specially remembered by the Church in Rome as its Pillars, Jesus Christ Himself being the corner stone. According to tradition the Apostles Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome for Christian Faith.

 

The Old Testament reading prescribed for today is 2 Kings 4:8-37. This portion describes some miracles worked by the Prophet Elisha. In like manner, St. Peter also worked miracles the description of which is given in the Acts of the Apostles 9:32-42 prescribed for reading in today’s Eucharistic Liturgy. It is clear from the text that St. Peter was acting as the representative of Christ. The reading from the epistles prescribed for today is 2 Corinthians 10:1-7 and 11:21-33. The verses from chapter 10 describe the spiritual strength of the missionaries. In the verses of chapter 11 St. Paul, though takes pride in his Hebrew origin comparing himself with the other Jews, is more concerned with the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and describes some of the dangers he had to face in his apostolate. The message we have to take is that doing good entails perils, but God will be on our side.


 

Credits: Father Thomas Kalayil, CMI <thomas 'dot' kalayil 'at' cmi 'dot' in>

 

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