Reading 1 (ACTS 3:1-10)

Peter and John were going up to the temple area
for the three o’clock hour of prayer.
And a man crippled from birth was carried
and placed at the gate of the temple called “the Beautiful Gate”
every day to beg for alms from the people who entered the temple.
When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple,
he asked for alms.
But Peter looked intently at him, as did John,
and said, “Look at us.”
He paid attention to them, expecting to receive something from them.
Peter said, “I have neither silver nor gold,
but what I do have I give you:
in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean, rise and walk.”
Then Peter took him by the right hand and raised him up,
and immediately his feet and ankles grew strong.
He leaped up, stood, and walked around,
and went into the temple with them,
walking and jumping and praising God.
When all the people saw the man walking and praising God,
they recognized him as the one who used to sit begging
at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and they were filled with amazement and astonishment
at what had happened to him.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 19:2-3, 4-5)

R. (5) Their message goes out through all the earth.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
Day pours out the word to day;
and night to night imparts knowledge.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.
Not a word nor a discourse
whose voice is not heard;
through all the earth their voice resounds,
and to the ends of the world, their message.
R. Their message goes out through all the earth.

Reading 2 (GALATIANS 1:11-20)

I want you to know, brothers and sisters,
that the Gospel preached by me is not of human origin.
For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it,
but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

For you heard of my former way of life in Judaism,
how I persecuted the Church of God beyond measure
and tried to destroy it, and progressed in Judaism
beyond many of my contemporaries among my race,
since I was even more a zealot for my ancestral traditions.
But when God, who from my mother’s womb had set me apart
and called me through his grace,
was pleased to reveal his Son to me,
so that I might proclaim him to the Gentiles,
I did not immediately consult flesh and blood,
nor did I go up to Jerusalem
to those who were Apostles before me;
rather, I went into Arabia and then returned to Damascus.

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem
to confer with Cephas and remained with him for fifteen days.
But I did not see any other of the Apostles,
only James the brother of the Lord.
–As to what I am writing to you, behold,
before God, I am not lying.

Alleluia (JOHN 21:17)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Lord, you know everything;
you know that I love you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (JOHN 21:15-19)

Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples
and, when they had finished breakfast, said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
Reflection: We celebrate the great feast of the two pillars of Holy Mother Church, Saints Peter and Paul. And the Readings for this Vigil Mass mention the wonderful legacy about these two great pillars and Apostles. In the First Reading (Acts 3:1-10), Peter and John went to the Temple to pray until they saw a crippled beggar. Peter looked at the beggar, but the man thought the two Apostles would give him alms. Then Peter gave him something better than alms: he commanded him to rise up in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. At once the crippled man began to walk and leaped for joy. And all the people there praised the wonderful work of God done by the testimony of the two Apostles of Christ. In the Gospel (John 21:15-17), before Pentecost, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him. And Peter replies the same thing three times. This threefold confession of love serves as a reparation from the threefold denial of the Apostle during the Passion. It shows that even though Peter failed because of one sin, Christ recognised his sincerity and humility and still appointed him to be the first Pope of the Church. And finally in the Second Reading (Galatians 1:11-20), Paul tells us that even from his mother’s womb he heard God’s call. At first, we know him as a devout Pharisee, and of course we know how he persecuted the early Christians. He knew God (Yahweh), but he only knew him in the Old Testament, not in the New Testament. It came to pass that as he was journeying to Damascus to carry out his plot, he was struck by the blinding light and fell down and heard a voice calling out to him. He recognised at once that it was Jesus Christ calling him to be a witness to the Good News. So from being a great persecutor, he became a vessel of the Gospel not only to the Jews, but also tho the Gentiles.
My dear brothers and sisters, Saints Peter and Paul are truly the two pillars of the Church. Saint Peter holds the key, symbolising his authority as the first Pope and now the guardian of heaven. Saint Paul holds the sword and the Bible, symbolising that the “word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thought of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). He preaches to both the Jews and the Gentiles. Both of these two great Apostles offered their life for the Church through martyrdom; Peter being crucified upside down and Paul beheaded along the Ostiense Way. So as we journey down this road, may we follow the example of Saints Peter and Paul in proclaiming and giving witness to the Gospel of Christ in our everyday lives and also becoming leaders to the People of God.

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