|Monastery at Skellig Michael ?6th-8th Century|
As this week's readings are so rich, I have used a slightly different format for a little liturgy, to encourage us to think about them in a more focussed way.
This week's picture is of a monk's cell on Skellig Michael. I often think of this when I hear the words, "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church."
As always, if you are new, do click on "Introducing a little liturgy" and feel free to copy and use anything you like.
Summary of the Liturgy of the Word
Acts of the Apostles 12:1-11
King Herod decided to arrest Peter and put him in prison. He was guarded by soldiers and locked up with chains.
During the night an angel came to rescue Peter and he was able to get free from the chains and walk past two sets of guards and out of the prison door without being discovered.
At first Peter thought it was all a dream but then he realised that he had been rescued by God.
From all my terrors the Lord set me free.
The angel of the Lord rescues those who revere him.
Second Reading -
Second Letter of St Paul to Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
St Paul tells Timothy that he has done all that he can do to spread the word about Jesus. He says he has "fought the good fight" and "run the race until the finish". He is certain that God will look after him after he dies.
Matthew 16: 13-19
Jesus was talking to his disciples and asked them who they thought he was. He called himself "the Son of Man".
His disciples told him that many people had different opinions about who he was. Some thought he was John the Baptist, some said Jeremiah and some said Elijah.
When Jesus asked the disciples what they thought, Peter spoke up and said "You are the Christ, Son of the living God".
Jesus knew that Peter had been inspired by God in this answer and replied "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church."
Discussion and Activities
What happens in our own time when religious messages come into conflict with the government of a country? Do people go to prison because of their beliefs?
Where else do angels appear in the Bible and what is their purpose?
Consider what participating in a fight and a race is like and how we feel when it is over.
Think about how fighting and running might be similar to following Jesus.
Why might many people choose this passage as a reading for a funeral?
Who were John the Baptist, Jeremiah and Elijah?
Why might people have given these names as answers to Jesus question?
Consider how our church today is similar and different to the church that St Peter would have known.
Other Activities and Resources
1) St Peter said to Jesus, "You are the Christ, Son of the living God". What do we call Jesus today?
Look at the text of the Mass which can be found below:
If possible, print it out and use a highlighter to mark all the different names we use for God. Below are some to look for:
Lord Jesus Christ
God the Father
Lamb of God
The Holy One
Son of God
2) Listen to:
Handel's Messiah excerpt
In this piece of music, known as "For unto us a son is born", God is called:
The Mighty God
The Everlasting Father
The Prince of Peace
Consider why we have all these different names for God and what they might mean.
3) You can find out more about Skellig Michael here.
I hope you have enjoyed a little liturgy this week.