Today we celebrate the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, two of the most crucial saints of the early Church. They each had very different personalities and indeed quite different vocations. And both of them were also rather flawed characters. But as we know from the Old Testament, God has a way of choosing people who are completely unworthy to carry out his plans for the world.
We see from the First Reading today that the Eucharist has roots which go back deep into the Old Testament. Abraham has got himself involved in a war. It seems that a group of kings had ganged up on the King of Sodom and defeated him and in the course of this battle Abraham’s nephew Lot was captured. Abraham therefore takes up arms against these rebel Kings and defeats them and rescues Lot. He then meets up with the King of Sodom to discuss affairs and it is at this point that Melchizedek makes his appearance.
Last Sunday, the feast of Pentecost, we came to the end of that great movement in our liturgy which began on Ash Wednesday. During these three months or so we commemorated and lived through the great mysteries of the culmination of Christ’s ministry—his entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper, his trial and scourging, his death and resurrection, his ascension into heaven and the birth of the Church.
In the account of the Day of Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles we note that there are a lot of strange things happening. There was the very loud sound of a powerful wind, then there were what seemed like tongues of fire descending on the heads of the disciples and finally they found that they had received the ability to speak foreign languages. These are all the kinds of things that accompany a decisive intervention of God. You will recall that at the Transfiguration a blinding light surrounded Jesus and Moses and Elijah appeared. The technical word is Theophany which means a spectacular and supernatural manifestation of God.
Father Alex McAllister SDS
Parish Priest of
St Thomas à Becket