By Fr Tomislav Vlašić
28 June 2021
Dearest Brothers and Sisters, I wish you a good Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul; may we all be united around them and celebrate with the whole Church of the Universe in the Sanctuary of Heaven.
The theme we want to develop today is “Participating in the cosmic passage of humanity”. During the summer months, everyone is in motion: some travel to go on holiday, some go on a pilgrimage, some think of ways to relax, etc. As a result, there is constant movement in our life. As we look at the plants and the animals, we see that they bear much fruit. However, within us there may be a lot of activity that turns around our ego, our words, our thoughts and our wishes, but that does not bear fruit.
These days we have deepened “The Lord’s presence among us”, particularly in this time, to prepare His glorious return. The Mother of God, Queen of Peace, told us that Her presence in Medjugorje was intended to prepare and accompany Christianity towards the new times. Therefore, we will stop at this fact and try to understand the path to walk and the goal to reach so that we do not remain stuck in our feelings and wishes, nor in human love, which leads to death if it does not become Christ’s love that remains forever. The Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul gives us an opportunity to do this. Precisely in today’s liturgy we may see the stages of the path of the apostles and, at the same time, the stages we have to go through. The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, speaks about the revelation to Peter, which is an inspiration. He was inspired by the Heavenly Father to profess Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said that this came from the Father, not from the flesh, that is, not from man.
When Jesus wanted to move forward, Peter immediately tried to take it under control because of his fears and to prevent Jesus from realizing what the Father wanted from Him, but Jesus rejected it, saying: “Get behind me, Satan!” Peter had to learn to walk the path as disciple of Christ; he had to contemplate His Passion and experience his own fragility when he denied Christ, when he blamed himself, to the extent of reaching a close relationship with the Risen Christ, welcoming His love and professing: “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Here we may contemplate Peter’s inner resurrection, but we must not stop there. Peter was to take the position of head of the Church as the first testimony of Jesus Christ; thus, as he began to witness, he had to use, so to say, the power which acted in the Risen Christ to manifest man as he is, that is, His life in him.
In the first point of chapter 10 of the Acts of the Apostles, we see that Peter had to change his way of thinking. He was closed in Judaism, in traditions that were considered sacrosanct, and He had to let go of them to subject to the Laws of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the famous passage about the vision of the animals that the Jews never ate and the voice from Heaven: “Get up, Peter; kill and eat.” It is clear that he could not understand everything, but the Lord accompanied him with signs and sent him to Cornelius, a pagan Roman official, a righteous man, who had had an experience with an angel that told him: “Now send men to Joppa for a certain Simon who is called Peter.” Peter came and as soon as he began to bear witness to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit descended on that family; this means that the shell which closed Judaism to the message of Christ had broken. However, Peter had to go a step further: he had to face the Jews who had become Christians, who disapproved of St. Peter entering the house of a pagan. Yet, Peter witnessed in front of everyone and they calmed down as the Scriptures say: “When they heard this … they praised God, saying, ‘Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.’” The change Peter went through was the liberation from a mentality that clung on to certain ancient laws, which served to prepare the coming of the Messiah; yet, now his mind had to abandon them because Christ, the Saviour of all men of the whole Universe, needed an instrument that was open to His Love in order to bring His Love to all men.
In the first reading of the Acts of the Apostles, we see what those who interpret the Holy Scriptures call Peter’s Passover. The Apostle James had been killed by Herod and Herod decided to kill Peter, too, to please the Jews; so he threw Peter in jail, where he was chained and well guarded, as Herod intended to kill him, too, after the feasts. Peter could not move and there was no escape; then, God sent an angel to open the prison and take him away after which Peter went to preach.
This is a stage that each of us must recognize within us when we come to a point of total inner closure. All human means vanish and we are enchained. There is no activity in our soul or in our spirit. On the contrary, when we want to take part in the work of Christ, He unlocks all blockages as He is the King and the Saviour of the Universe. It is very important that as Christians, believers in this time, we understand this and take part in this power of the Risen Christ with our testimony and commitment, and thus begin to use the power that flows out of our heart when we participate in the Passover of the Lord.
Finally, we come to Peter’s last stage in Rome where the Lord did not set Him free, from a human point of view, but liberated him for a life in fullness. Peter said, “You know that I love you.” He testified his love for Christ, who was his life, more than the life on Earth. His martyrdom was not losing his life; his martyrdom consisted in being united with the life of the Risen Christ, which is transmitted to the Christians as living Eucharist that nourishes the Church. Without this passage, we Christians will not reach fullness within us; the power of the Risen Christ will not gush out and we will not leave new energies as a heritage to future generations; energies that nourish and accompany the people. This is the testimony of Peter, the head of the Apostles.
In short, Paul’s path is described in his second letter to Timothy. You Christians know that St. Paul was struck by grace and that he began to testify immediately after this experience. It is easy to stop there and think, “I also want to be struck by grace”. No. I will receive the grace that is meant for me, but my task is to participate in the grace I have within me and that the Lord gives me every day. Paul did not passively stop there; he said: “As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come.”
Paul sacrificed himself on the altar with Christ. He, too, was living Eucharist and left this richness to us in the Church. He did not remain passive: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” His fight, his race and his steady faith bore fruit. “From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
St. Paul went through this passage and everything became clear to him. In the end, all will be manifested to everyone, but for some it will be late. For those who have participated in this path, it will be a time of glory. “But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength ….” He also said: “So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses ….” How can one boast of his weakness? He said this because the grace given to us is so abundant that we can face all problems and all provocations of the enemy, “[S]o that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.” He was a faithful servant of Christ until the end. He was protected, and we are also protected if we participate in the presence of Christ in this time. “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
In conclusion, what choice do we make? Will we remain passive Christians, closed in on ourselves? Christians who turn around their own ideas; who seek to take control over Christ’s messages to have some comfort here on Earth? Then, we will remain closed and destroy the message of Christ. Yet, those who welcome Christ’s message and want to participate in the living Christ, victor over sin and death, will participate in His victory every day and experience the presence of the victorious Christ and of the Blessed Mother Mary who will accompany them. Without this participation, humanity will not go through this passage. The Church of the whole Universe is committed to going through this passage and to participating fully, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the presence of Christ, to manifest this life and this love in order to be transformed; as the Gospel says, this is not only for the glory of God, but you will also “receive a hundredfold now in this age”.
The Christians ought to understand that these are the times in which the choice cannot be postponed; choosing means to participate actively in the power of the Risen Christ through all trials and all situations. Then, we can be witnesses, and through us the signs and miracles will manifest themselves; through us, Jesus Christ operates in the whole Universe. This is the commitment of the Church of the whole Universe, and no one can be part of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Universe without the decision to participate in this. In the last message of Mary Most Holy, Queen of Peace, She said that She had received the task from God to prepare these times and to accompany those who decided to walk the path and be in the Church of the whole Universe to reach this goal.
I wish you good summer months, good pilgrimages and a good time to relax and enjoy your holidays. However, even pilgrimages may be misleading if you just want to have pleasure or obtain some consolation. God’s consolation is abundant when we welcome God; when we welcome His Kingdom in us; when we go on a pilgrimage to awaken the power of Christ in us and be faithful and to transmit this to humanity.
I wish you a happy Solemnity and I bless you: in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
 See footnote 1
 See Mt 16,13-19
 See Mt 16,21-23
 See John 21,15-19
 See Acts 11,1-18
 See Acts 12,1-11
 See 2Tim 4,6-8.17-18
 See 2 Cor 12,9
 See 2 Tim 4,16-18
 See Mt 19,29; Mk 10,29-30; Lk 18,29-30