Sunday, June 29, 2014

Excerpt from St. John Maximovitch on Sts. Peter and Paul

The Embrace of the Foremost of the Apostles, Sts. Peter and Paul (source)
The Apostle of the Jews [i.e. St. Peter] and the Apostle of the Gentiles [i.e. St. Paul] departed to Christ on the same day, as if indicating their equal nearness to God and the oneness of the Church of Christ, in which there is neither Greek nor Jew (Col. 3:11). Therefore, the day on which the earthly labors ended for "the leaders of the Apostles, who labored more than all," who "separated in body, are together in spirit," became one of the memorable days for the whole Church.
    The feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul indicates the lot of the Holy Apostles here on earth and reveals the glory which followed it. To go over the earth with the preaching of the Heavenly Kingdom, in this emulating Christ by their poverty, endurance of dishonor and suffer­ings, by their love for the children of the Heavenly Father, their inward torments of childbirth over those who heeded their preaching and their grief over those who paid no heed to their words, and finally by offering themselves as a sacrifice—this was the earthly lot of the Apostles.
-St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, "Sermon of the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul"
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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