My dear parishioners, friends and visitors to St. Philip the Apostle parish, I give you the joy of our Lord’s resurrection from the dead! On the day of the Lord’s resurrection, the “beloved disciple” outran Peter to Jesus’ tomb. Interestingly, he stopped and waited for Peter to arrive, allowing him to enter first.
To refresh our memory of Peter, about whom many wonderful stories are told: he was the first to profess to Jesus: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." [Mt 16:16] Jesus called him to be first among his apostles: "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this
rock I will build my church, and the powers
of death shall not prevail against it."
By accepting the leadership of the Church, Peter assumed the status of
first born son
in the apostolic family. He received the charism of authority and servant-discipleship over the whole Church. Not by blood lineage could Peter make the claim for his inheritance--Christ appointed him.
The Beloved Disciple outran Peter to the tomb precisely because love, when contrasted to authority in the hierarchy of charisms, is joyously unrestrained and high-spirited. And love, ever fragile and impulsive, needs authority which is ever vigilant and protective.
Peter, the rock on which the Church is established, entered first into the mystery of the empty tomb. Peter signifies the governance of the Church which mediates the mysteries of divine revelation, the truth of miraculous interventions and the spiritual integrity of its members.
In the person of Peter, the magisterium carefully examined all that happened and discerned its meaning. [Jn 20:6-10] Only then could the Beloved Disciple--the sign of the tender and benevolent faithful--enter and observe. Love is proven by the test of faith and made strong by authenticated belief.
The Church's authority finds its elegant and integral provenance in Christ who instituted it: "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven." [Mt 16:18-19]
To cherish the risen Christ is to understand his sacramental love for his Bride, the
one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church
: "With great delight I sat in his shadow, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love." [SongSol 2:3-4]
Let us offer to one another the joy of the risen Lord in the glory of his Easter! May the grace of God which is beyond all understanding keep in your hearts and minds the knowledge that your salvation is confirmed in love and sustained by the Holy Spirit, and that every good gift comes from God.
Sincerely in the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
Reverend Richard Barker.
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Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo
Auxiliary Msgr. George Sheltz
Retired Auxilliary Vincent Rizzotto
Most Rev. Joseph A. Fiorenza
Reverend Richard Barker