27 August 201721 Ordinary Time

Homily from Father James Gilhooley
21 Ordinary Time
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time - A Cycle - Matthew 16:13-20

Without the 19th century essayist Charles Lamb, William Shakespeare would be Missing in Action. It was Lamb's essays that snatched the 17th century playwright from obscurity after he was famous for Andy Warhol's fifteen minutes.

One night Lamb and his guests were chatting about Bill Shakespeare over Madeira port and illegal Cuban cigars. "Supposing," one asked Lamb, "Shakespeare were to stroll into our dining room at this moment." The essayist replied, "We would raise a glass of port to the great man." "Supposing," asked another, "Jesus were to come here." Lamb answered, "We would get down on our knees."

There is the difference between the Man from Nazareth and other great people you can think of. The Christ is God and all others, no matter what their deeds, are but actors strutting on the stage for a brief time and then exiting.

When today's Gospel opens, Jesus was in Caesarea Philippi in the northeastern corner of Palestine. There the FBI and paparazzi would not look for Him. This was not His usual territory. The sand in His clock was running out. A barbaric cross awaited Him. Yet, He had much to teach the twelve before He could give them their theology doctorates. This was quality classroom time.

This, too, is one of the most decisive periods in Christ's life. Though He was aware of His divinity, were His own people equally aware? He realized He had a rendezvous to keep with His executioners. Thus, He had to know whether the apostles had any inkling whom they were traveling with. The right answer to His question would make His day, even His life. The wrong answer would mean He was a loser. Three years of hard work would go down the tubes.

So, He put the question to them that went to the heart of the matter, "Who do you say I am?" Imagine how His skin must have crawled with pleasure when Peter acting as spokesman for the others told Him He was "the Son of the living God."

Surely neither Peter nor any of the apostles with the possible exception of the young and sharp John could have given a precise theological explanation of that accolade. But every mother's son of them knew in his guts that the highest human terms one could think of were totally inadequate to categorize their Leader. He was an original.

It is not enough to learn what others, even apostles, say about the Teacher. One could write an encyclopedia about the Christ and still not be a card-carrying Christian. One might spellbind one's friends by telling them about all the thousands of volumes written on the eternal Galilean and still not be a believer. Jewish theologians have written beautifully on Jesus, but they do not believe. (William Barclay)

To each baptized, Jesus leans over and whispers, "But YOU...who do YOU say I am?" That question will never go away.

In their artistic works, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Georges Rouault, Franco Zeffirelli. Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Mel Gibson have all given their answers to the Master's searing question.

Now it is our turn to step up to the plate and take a swing. The Nazarene must forever be one's discovery. Our knowledge of Him can never be something that stays in a closet. It must be outed. Christianity does not mean memorizing the Nicene Creed. Rather, it does mean knowing our Saviour.

Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, assassinated in 1980 while defending Jesus, said eloquently: "Christianity is not a collection of truths to be believed or laws to be obeyed. Rather, Christianity is a person. Christianity is Christ."

Governor Pilate asked Jesus if He was in fact the King of the Jews. Christ, though exhausted and barely able to stand, shot back a query like an automatic machine gun, "Does this question come from you or have others told you about me?" (John 18:34)

When St Paul was writing to young Timothy on his word processor, he did not write, "I know what I have believed." Rather he typed in his best hunt and peck manner, "I know WHOM I have believed." (2 Timothy 1:12)

We must join to our belief John's text of Christ that says, "Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do." Like Christ, we must turn the community about us upside down. True faith produces a life full of actions, not a head full of facts; Christ came not to make us feel good but to do good. (Unknown)

If we bypass the question "Who is Christ?" by saying, "Let's talk about me instead!", we trivialize Christ's challenge to us.

Are you a follower of Jesus or just a distant admirer? (Unknown)
Homily from Father Joseph Pellegrino
Frjoeshomilies.net
21 Ordinary Time
Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time: The Charism of Peter

Sometimes people will say that a place radiates a certain spirit. A few years ago I visited Ft. McHenry in Baltimore. This was the fort that held out against a British siege during the War of 1812. The siege was witnessed by a young lawyer named Francis Scott Key. As you all know, Key wrote a poem that became the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner. When I visited Ft. McHenry I was engulfed by a spirit of patriotism. I am sure that most of the people there had a similar experience.

One of my favorite places in New York City is Lincoln Center. When I walk onto the plaza with its beautiful fountain, and see the David Koch Theater on my left that houses the New York Ballet among other events, and the Avery Fischer Hall on my right where the New York Philharmonic performs, and the Metropolitan Opera House in front of me, I feel engulfed by classical music, opera, symphony and dance. I might not hear a sound, but I can sense music all around me. Perhaps you have been there and felt the same way.

Sometimes people will say that a person radiates a certain spirit. Some people might feel that an actor like Morgan Freeman radiates a quiet dignity. Or some might say that a sports figure like Derrick Brookes radiates responsibility. Quite often we will say, "There is something about him, about her."

Now all of this, be it about places or about people, is experienced on the human level. There are people and places that radiate a spirit on a higher level, a spiritual level. I have never been to the Holy Land, but I understand that those who have feel a presence of God. I certainly have been to Rome, and I can tell you that I have felt overwhelmed by the spiritual in St. Peters, Mary Major, St. John Lateran and the many other places of worship there. Two of my favorite places in the world are the Trapists abbeys in Conyers, Georgia and Gethsemani, Kentucky. I feel the spiritual there. I also feel the spiritual at Covecrest Camp in Tiger, Georgia, Hidden Lake Camp in Dahlonega, Geogia, and Benedictine College and Abbey in Atchison, Kansas. I don't believe that these are mere feelings. There are encounters with the Holy Spirit dwelling in particular places.

Many times people will say that they met a person who radiates the Presence of the Lord in a unique way. People said this about St. Theresa of Callcutta and Pope St. John Paul II. These saints radiated holiness. The sainted Pope conveyed a sense of being the living mission of the Church. The holy nun conveyed a sense of being the very charity of Christ.

Those who have been to Assisi know that the spirit of St. Francis lives on in this city almost eight hundred after his death. When you go to Assisi you experience the presence of the poor man of God, the saint of peace.

The ways in which a person reflects God is due to that person's charism. A charism is a gift from God to the Church for the world. The source of the charism is God. The person who receives the charism, receives it for the world.

Peter received a charism. He received the gift of being the leader of the Church. We read about this in today's Gospel. The Lord said that the Church would be founded on the Rock, Peter. Like Eliakim of the first reading, Peter would have the keys to admit people into the presence of the Lord. It is clear in the Acts of the Apostles and in the Letters of St. Paul, that Peter was first among the apostles, first among those who were called to proclaim the Kingdom of God on earth. Peter took leadership in the Church at Pentecost. After he, the apostles and Mary, received the Holy Spirit, Peter led everyone out to the Temple and began preaching the good news to the people. After Saul became Paul, after the persecutor of the primitive Church accepted Jesus Christ, Paul spent three years in the desert reflecting on his experience of the Lord on the Road to Damascus. He then went to Jerusalem to receive Peter's blessing and commission to bring the Good News, the Gospel to the world.

All the apostles recognized that Peter was given the charism to lead the Church. And Peter realized that he had to take up his position of leadership to the center of the then known world, Rome. We do not know how Peter got to Rome. We know that he was there, though. There are stories that Paul consulted with Peter in Rome, particularly regarding the conversion of Syracuse in Sicily. We know that Peter died in Rome, crucified head down. The excavations under the Basilica of St. Peter revealed a tomb with the words, Here Lies Peter, and the body of a large man of Palestinian origin. We also know that when Peter died, the charism he was given to lead the Church remained active in Rome. The one who took his place, St. Linus, and those who followed him, St. Cletus, St. Clement, and so forth, were all recognized as having received the charism that the Lord gave to Peter to lead the Church. As time went on, these bishops of Rome would be given the title, Pope, Papa, Father of the Family, leader of the Church.

So what does all this mean to us?

It means that the charism of Peter lives on in the Catholic Church. This leadership is experienced in the teaching of the Holy Father and the teaching authority of the Church. It means that we know who we are as Catholics. Our beliefs come from the teaching authority of the Church. The term we use for this is magisterium. We benefit from the charism of Peter, the charism he received at the Roman city of Caesarea Philippi. The charism of Peter remains in the Pope and in the magisterium. The way we live our lives, our morality, flows from our faith. We know that we can't give lip service to the faith and live as pagans. We also know that we are human beings. We need the help of God to be His Presence for others. The Church provides for us. We treasure the gift of the Eucharist as the food we need for the journey of life. We treasure the sacrament of reconciliation, confession, where we bring our humanity before the Lord seeking the strength to overcome evil around us and within us. Every aspect of our lives revolves around the Lord, including our last days as we receive the sacrament of sick and begin our journey home.

The Catholic Church is the oldest and largest organized body in the world. We have a history. Those who hate us often point out negative incidents in our history. And it is true, some of our history is dark, as some human beings throughout the centuries behaved more like pagans than Christians. But these individuals never acted as true representatives of the Body of Christ on earth. They acted as flawed human beings using their positions of leadership for their own immoral gain. They were never really the Church. They never took their own commitment to Jesus seriously. And they were a minority. The vast majority of the people of their time were committed Catholics. And there were many saints among them. There are many saints among us. All of us have been edified by people whom we know will never be canonized but whose lives pointed us to Christ.

A recent survey claims that there are 1.285 billion Catholics in the world. There are over 85 million in North America. (I think the majority of them tried to come to Mass here last Easter.) To put it simply: there are a lot of us. But we are united into one body, the Church, with Christ as our head and with Peter's successor as our leader here on earth. An elderly man, in his last days, once said to me, "I am Catholic, and I love being Catholic." And so do we all.
Homily from Father Phil Bloom
Stmaryvalleybloom.org
* Available in Spanish - see Spanish Homilies
21 Ordinary Time
Spiritual Warfare Week 10: The Burden of Community
(August 27, 2017)

Message: We are called to a glorious community though not an easy one. It is, however, the only one Jesus offers.

We are near the conclusion of our summer series: strengthening marriages and families for spiritual warfare. I'd like to address one of our biggest challenges: community. This follows from what we saw last week about ingathering - the great harvest of God. That's the ultimate community. The alternative is the anti-community: isolation from God and all others.

I'm not speaking here about community in a broad sense, like sharing a conviction or identity. For example, I could say I belong to the pro-life community because I cherish human life from its earliest moment. I have something in common with people who share that vision. That broad community has a place but it can become tribalistic like much of modern culture with our "identity politics" based on gender, orientation and so on.

Rather than identity groups, I want to focus on a deeper, more tangible community: those people I interact with face to face, on whom I can count and who count on me for something. For me that would be brother priests in the archdiocese, members of my physical family and of course you who belong to St. Mary of the Valley. Those communities provide support, consolation and joy - and they cover a spectrum of "identities."

At the same time I want to be honest - to avoid idealizing those face-to-face communities. Let me say it plainly: my brother priests, my physical family and, yes, my parish often represent a burden.

That burden can cause a person to pull back or even flee. A priest with whom I shared responsibility for a parish took a walk on a Saturday morning to go over his weekend homily. It came over him that he could not do it any more. Calling the parish administrator, he told her he would not be at the Masses that weekend and would not come back to the parish. When the administrator told me, I called him. I pleaded with him to come back, at least to say goodbye. He never returned.

What that priest did upset me. At the same time I understood. Community is a burden, often enough a heavy burden. Priests get weary and discouraged. The same applies to parishioners. They sometimes slip away, maybe quietly, maybe angrily. One day they are with us, next day not. It happens in all Christian communities, not just parishes. It happens in physical families. Community is a burden.

A Christian writer observed, "We must accept the burden of community if we are going to experience the freedom of the Gospel." There is no other way.

Community faces particular challenges today. Modern blessings can become a curse. Email enables us to communicate instantaneously yet how many relationships have gone up in flames when emails escalate out of control? Then we have Facebook. Don't get me wrong. I use and like it. It helps me learn names and faces, as well some things that matter to parishioners and others. Of course Facebook has dangers. It can foster a false sense of community, not to mention snap judgement and addictive distractions.*

With so much false and superficial community, how can person know if he is building true solid community? Let me make a comparison: When I first came to St. Mary of the Valley, a parishioner gave me a Bowflex home gym. He explained the basic principle of muscle building - no pain, no gain. How did I do? Let me put it this way. From a glance at my biceps you can guess the Bowflex hasn't caused me much pain!

No pain, no gain. That principle applies to true community. To build community always costs. We'll hear more next Sunday.

In our Gospel today we see Jesus founding the ultimate community. "Upon this rock," he say, "I will build my church." Jesus comes for that reason - to found his Church. It has various names: New Israel, Bride of Christ, Living Temple, the Flock He Shepherds. These images make clear Jesus does not so much save us as individuals but as a community.

This does not exclude a personal relationship with Jesus. What it excludes is a private relationship. A personal relationship is essential; a private relationship with Jesus is a contradiction in terms. We are saved as members of his community, the Church. Not an idealized church, not a "spiritual" invisible Church. No, a visible, human, flesh and blood community. For that reason we have to accept the burden of community if we hope to experience the freedom Jesus offers us.

Jesus invites humanity to his Church. "I will build my church," he says. And he gives a pretty good assurance: the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. To the Church - in the person of Peter and his successors - he entrusts the power of keys to loose and to bind. We are called to a glorious community though not an easy one. It is, however, the only one Jesus offers, "I will build my church." Amen.
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*As Pope Francis observes: "Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature." (Laudato Si #47)
Homily from Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe,Pa
Saint Vincent Archabbey
21 Ordinary Time
Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time, Modern
Matthew 16: 13 - 20

When I was a child I loved to have keys. It didn't matter if they were old car keys, house keys, a trunk key, or whatever, having a set of keys made me feel grown up. I notice to this day children with keys, and sometimes a parent handing a set of keys to a fussy toddler serves as a good pacifier. Keys give a sense of importance because having keys makes one important. Something of value is kept under lock and key. The person with a key has access to a place where others do not. The person with the key is entrusted with the responsibility of caring for whatever it is that is locked up. In the Gospel today Jesus entrusts Peter with the keys to the kingdom. In this case it is more the image and the message that it conveys than actual physical keys that is important. I don't think that the Pearly Gates are kept under lock and key. The image is that Peter is given the authority on earth, as leader of the apostles and ultimately the Church, to act in the name of the Lord. It is the keys that symbolize this, and this symbol did not end with the death of Peter, but has continued to symbolize the authority of the one who sits in the Chair of Peter as Pope. Both the Papal Seal and the Pope's Coat of Arms contain the image of two keys representing the authority given to him by non other than Christ Himself.

The authority of Peter and his successors is rather clear in this passage. Jesus gave Peter and the Apostles all the authority to "bind and Loose”, but he speaks only to Peter when he tells him that he is entrusted with the keys. Bishops today are successors of the Apostles and they have the same authority to "bind and Loose", but it is only the Pope who holds the keys. The Bishops function in union with, and under the authority of the Pope. This is referred to as the Hierarchy, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes it thus; "The Apostles and their successors, the college of bishops, to whom Christ gave the authority to teach, sanctify, and rule in his name.” (CCC 873)

This is an awesome charge, and I am always impressed when a Bishop celebrates Mass and instead of inserting his name in the Eucharistic Prayer instead says, "for me your unworthy servant.” The authority they have is an authority that humbles and calls them to service. To teach, sanctify, and rule (sometimes translated as govern) in the name of Christ are awesome tasks. When a bishop teaches it is not in his own name, or his own opinion, it is in the name of Christ. A bishop sanctifies us through his prayers, his service and his example knowing that we are always listening and watching. A bishop governs in the name of Christ and not at his own whim.

Upon reflecting on this Gospel passage may we keep the Holy Father and our bishops in prayer. May they be given the graces and gifts they need to live out their calling in such a way as to truly reflect the mind of Christ. Our spiritual care is entrusted to them and this is a mighty weight upon them. May they walk with Christ who will help them with this mighty task and help them to be Good Shepherds. Finally, may we be blessed to be faithful members of the flock, attentive to the voice, presence and care of our Shepherds.

Father Killian Loch, O.S.B.

Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Classic
Matthew 16: 13-20

Gospel Summary

This Sunday's passage is part of the fourth section (13:54-18:35) of Matthew's gospel in which he explains the meaning of Jesus in relation to the church. Throughout this section we learn that many people did not understand who Jesus was and even took offence at him because of their lack of belief (Mt 13:54-58). It is against this background that Jesus asks his disciples: "But who do you say that I am?”

Simon replies: "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus congratulates him as blessed because the heavenly Father has revealed this truth to him. Jesus then, like Yahweh giving Abraham a new name, gives Simon a new name -- Peter, Rock. (Petros in Greek means rock.) He then states that upon this Rock he will build his church, against which no evil will prevail. Further, Jesus promises to give Simon Peter (Rock) the keys to the kingdom of heaven so that whatever he binds or looses on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven.

Life Implications

The historical, earthly Jesus is no longer present to ask us: "Who do you say that I am?” We may mistakenly be inclined to think that if we did have that first-hand experience today, it would be much easier to affirm Jesus as "Messiah, the Son of the living God.” The presence of the earthly Jesus, however, is not an advantage in regard to the gift of faith. As we know, most people who heard him and talked with him did not recognize his true identity.

In his humanity, Jesus was a sacrament, a visible sign of the invisible divine presence. There was a double reality about him —one visible, able to be grasped by human reason; the other, invisible, able to be grasped only when revealed by the heavenly Father and accepted in faith. The life implication for us lies in the fact that Jesus, to whom "all power in heaven and on earth has been given” (Mt 28:18), extends his meaning as sacrament of divine presence to others.

Jesus identifies Simon Peter as the Rock upon which his church will be built so that Peter's binding and loosing on earth simultaneously binds and looses in heaven. Thus the church with its visible structure of authority, through Christ's power, becomes an extension of Christ as the sacrament of his presence in history. There is as a consequence a double reality about the church through its communion with Christ -- one visible, able to be recognized by human reason; the other, invisible, able to be recognized only when revealed by the heavenly Father and accepted in faith.

Today, against the background of so many diverse opinions about his identity, Jesus asks us through the sacramentality of his church: "But who do you say that I am?” We pray that, like Peter, we will be congratulated as blessed because the heavenly Father reveals to us that Jesus has kept his promise to be with us "always, until the end of the age” (Mt 28:20).

The church, by giving us Matthew's gospel, proclaims the good news that Christ is with us, and his presence may be recognized in our time just as during the time of his earthly life. Through the sacrament of baptism we become his followers and enter with him into the divine life of the Father and Holy Spirit (Mt 28:18-20). In the sacrament of the Eucharist, the Risen Lord is truly present, praying with us and giving himself to us as life-giving bread and wine (Mt 26:26-29).

We also hear the good news that Jesus is present and identifies himself with every human being, however lowly -- the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the criminal (Mt 25:31-46). This strange presence of Jesus in our midst may prove to be a stumbling-stone when we respond to the question: "But who do you say that I am?”

Peter was able to affirm Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God: but balked at the notion that Jesus would suffer and die (Mt 16:21-23). We too may affirm Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, but balk at the notion that Jesus is now present as the one in need. In fact, every human being by Christ's power becomes a double reality -- one visible, recognized by reason; the other, invisible (the presence of Christ in need), recognized only when revealed by the heavenly Father and accepted in faith.

In this Sunday's liturgy we thank God that we are numbered among the blessed to whom is revealed the true identity and presence of Jesus in our midst. We also pray for a deeper, more complete faith so that we may recognize the divine presence even when it does not make sense to our human understanding, and will cost us something to respond. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

Campion P. Gavaler O.S.B.
Homily from Father Alex McAllister SDS
Alexmcallister.co.uk
21 Ordinary Time
Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

In today's Gospel reading we have one of the most important texts which underpins the structure of the Church. It is of course the great confession of Peter's faith and Christ's declaration: "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.”

This is probably the most famous pun in the whole of history; the word Peter meaning rock. On this rock, the rock that is Peter, Christ proposes to build his Church. And from this pun the whole theology of what we call the Petrine Ministry is developed, in other words it is from these words that the Papacy came into being.

The basis for all this is the question Jesus puts to the disciples, "Who do you say that I am?” This is a question, of course, that all people everywhere must eventually answer in one form or another. Peter gives his own answer, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Then Jesus tells him that, "it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.”

Here we have an important teaching about the very basis of faith; namely that it is not something that comes about as a result of one's own volition but rather is something that is itself a gift from God.

Faith then is something that is revealed to us. When we come to faith, whether it be in childhood or in adulthood, it is like scales falling away from our eyes because a new way of understanding the world has been revealed to us. And the one who does the revealing is naturally enough God himself.

Faith is therefore a gift, a gift directly from God. A person cannot be condemned therefore for not having it, although even without faith it is still necessary for them to live a good and honourable life.

But for those that have been given this gift, and that means all of us gathered here, it is an additional responsibility. I don't say that it is a burden because it is in fact a joy. But it is a joyful thing which does come with certain responsibilities. And the first responsibility is to take care of this gift, to nurture it and enable it to grow in our hearts.

There are lots of things that we can do to nurture our faith. For example we must frequent the sacraments and, of course, we must pray. Prayer means giving time to God each day; it means thinking about God frequently and asking ourselves what he wants us to do in the circumstances of our lives.

Prayer means communing with our creator and giving him a share of our time. Doing this means that we get to know him better and better and it is in this way that our faith develops and grows. Never underestimate the value of time spent in prayer; a few minutes each day in prayer gains us inestimable spiritual benefits.

Nurturing our faith is the first duty of anyone who calls themselves a Catholic. It is for this reason that in the Church we place a great emphasis on preparing properly for the sacraments and learning about our faith; for while there are the obvious spiritual aspects to this nurturing there are intellectual aspects also.

We must attend to both these aspects, both the spiritual and the intellectual. Besides catechesis there are other ways that we can strengthen our faith such as reading Catholic newspapers and books and nowadays also viewing TV programmes. A very simple example would be even reading the parish newsletter. It is our particular duty to inform ourselves about areas of the faith of which we are ignorant.

Another good thing that we could do is to attend discussion groups, for example those we hold about the Sunday scriptures that take place after the 10.00 mass on Fridays. This is a good way of acquainting ourselves with the sacred scriptures and so learning more about Jesus and the faith of the Church.

Going back to the text you might think that Pter wasn't actually the most reliable sort of a rock on which the Church could be built. We know from other parts of scripture that Peter denied Jesus three times at the most crucial moment of all. We know that he was timid and unreliable and could certainly be described as a weak man.

But Jesus was always attracted by weak and unreliable people. Look back into the Old Testament and you will see that Moses was a murderer and yet God chose him as the one Israelite he could do business with. We see then that God has a long history of choosing weak and unreliable people to carry out his purposes.

Perhaps we ought to say, "Thank God for that!” after all none of us are all that reliable, none of us are as strong examples of humanity as we would like to be.

We remember that St Paul told us often enough that God chooses the weak and fills them with his strength. It is precisely through weak people that God achieves in the world exactly what he wants.

Besides declaring that Peter was the rock on which the Church would be built Jesus states that, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.”

These are most profound words by which Christ gives Peter and his successors enormous spiritual authority. He is placing the fate of mankind in the hands of his apostles and those who will succeed them.

This ministry has been exercised in the down through the centuries. The Church sees itself as a beacon to light up the way of mankind leading in the direction of heaven and all that is godly. The Church and especially the Papacy realises that it is vitally important to speak out on the issues affecting the world at any particular time and pointing out the right way for us to go.

This is not always popular and oftentimes the Church points in a direction which is rejected by most of humanity. But the Church knows the heart of man and it knows too the heart of God and it directs humanity on the road to heaven despite the many difficulties that may result.

We should be proud to belong to the one true faith founded by Jesus Christ on the shoulders of Peter the Apostle. It is him and his successors that we should regard as our best guide as we pass though the struggles and difficulties presented by the world of today.
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