Wednesday, 4 July 2012

"homonymy" between Peter and Jesus (Benedict xvi) Acts 4: 11-12

Third Week in Ordinary Time WEDNESDAY Year II

A Word in Season, Readings of the Liturgy of the Hours. Augustinian Press 1999.
Night Office
First Reading
Nehemiah 9:1-2.5-21
Second Reading:
From the writings of Nicolas Cabasilas (Vita in Christo VI, 13: PG 150, 681-683).

There is no other name by which we must be saved.

That we may be able always to pay attention to Christ, and be zealous in this at all times, let us call on him who is the subject of our thoughts at every moment. And of course those who call upon him need no special preparation or special place for prayer, nor a loud voice. For he is present everywhere, and is always with us; he is even nearer to those who seek him than their very heart.

It is fitting, then, that we should firmly believe that our prayers will be answered. We should never hesitate on account of our evil ways, but take courage because he on whom we call is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. In fact he is so far from ignoring the entreaties of the servants who have offended him, that before they had called on him or even thought of him, he had already called them himself by his coming to earth - for he said, I came to call sinners.
Then if that was the way he sought those who did not even want him, how will he treat those who call on him? And if he loved us when we hated him, how will he reject us when we love him? It is just this that Paul's words make clear: If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, how much more, when we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
Again, let us think about the kind of supplication we make. We do not pray for the things that friends are likely to ask for and receive, but rather for such things as are specifically prescribed for those who are called to account, servants who have offended their master. For we do not call upon the Lord in order that he may reward us, or grant us any other favour of that kind, but that he may have mercy on us. Who, then, are likely to ask for mercy, forgive­ness, remission of sins and things of that sort from God who loves humanity, and not go away empty-handed? Those who are called to account, if indeed those who are well have no need of a physician. For if human beings are at all in the habit of calling upon God for mercy, it is those who are worthy of mercy, in other words sinners.
So let us call on God with our voice and in mind and thought, so that we may apply the only saving remedy to everything through which we sin, for in the words of Peter: there is no other name by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

Responsory                                          Ps 141:1-2; 143:1
I call to you, Lord; hasten to help me; hear my voice when I cry to you. + Let my prayer rise before you like incense, the raising of my hands like an evening sacrifice.
V. Lord, hear my prayer; listen to my plea. + Let my prayer ...

"homonymy" between Peter and Jesus (Benedict xvi)
"This [Jesus] is the stone... there is no other name... given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4: 11-12). In the passage of the Acts of the Apostles the first reading the singular "homonymy" between Peter and Jesus strikes us and makes us reflect: Peter, who received his name from Jesus himself, here asserts that he, Jesus, is "the stone". In fact, the only true rock is Jesus. The only name that saves is his. The apostle, and therefore the priest, receives his "name", his very identity, from Christ. Everything he does is done in his name. His "I" becomes totally relative to the "I" of Jesus. In the name of Christ, and most certainly not in his own, the apostle may perform acts of healing for the brethren, may help the "crippled" to rise again and take their path (cf. Acts 4: 9-10). In Peter's case, the miracle that had just occurred makes this especially evident. And even the reference to what was said in the Psalm is essential: "The stone which the builders rejected has become the corner stone" (Ps 118[117]: 22). Jesus was "rejected", but the Father favoured him and put him as the foundation of the Temple of the New Covenant. Thus the apostle, like the priest, experiences in turn the Cross, and only through this can he become truly useful to the building of the Church. God loves to build his Church with people who, following Jesus, place their entire trust in God, as the Psalm itself mentions: "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to put confidence in princes" (v. 8-9).
Poe Benedict during the Ordination to the Priesthood of 19 Deacons 3 May 2009