"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
From the writings of Nicolas Cabasilas (Vita in Christo VI,
13: PG 150, 681-683).
no other name by which we must be saved.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
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 ...
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: 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