Pietro Vannucci, called il Perugino, Christ Giving the Keys to Peter (detail), Cappella Sistina, The Vatican, 1482
Readings for Mass
First Reading: First Peter 5:1-4
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-19
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it (NRSV, Mt 16:18).”
Let us pray.
Father, thank you for so many gifts. First of all, I am grateful for the gift of life, not only physical life for this world, but a share in your own divine life for the world to come. You give me this life even from my mother’s womb. Through the Word always present to me, even in my sinfulness, I have the opportunity in every moment of embracing in the Holy Spirit forgiveness and further growth in your life.
I am thankful also that the Word, ever pressing in upon me challenging me to further increase in the Spirit, has come into the world in the flesh in Jesus Christ, that his presence has been made manifest in the body. Now we have seen with our eyes the glory to which you call us.
I am thankful as well for the gift of your Church, the body of Christ, your holy people, Father, which is the ongoing sacrament of your presence in the world, the visible gathering of all who believe in the Lord Jesus and look forward to life in the world to come. In the Church, we ritually and effectively celebrate the one saving act that is your very being, making present in tangible ways the great mystery of creation and sanctification, in every moment available to all, which otherwise we would only experience in the depth of our being and in other ways hidden and not made manifest.
Father, may I and all of your daughters and sons live lives worthy of your great gifts to us.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.