Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. We read, in the first reading of the liturgy, Acts 12: 1-11, about the miraculous intervention of Peter being freed from prison. “He had been taken into custody and put in prison under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each…. [P]rayer by the Church was fervently being made to God on his behalf….Suddenly the angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’ The chains fell from his wrists.” The angel then asked that he follow him out of the prison and they did so in front of all of the guards who were rendered powerless.
We are told in the Gospel of today’s liturgy that Christ built His Church upon “rock,” the rock of Peter and “the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” The Church is built upon God’s plan, a Foundation that will stand forever. Hell shall never prevail against God’s will! We need to hear, I believe, what God said so often to the Chosen People: “I am God; there is no other” (Is 45: 5
God’s plans will never be destroyed. Those who attempt to relegate such into oblivion will never succeed any more than did the Egyptians succeed in making powerless God’s plan to deliver Israel from slavery in their day. The Egyptians certainly tried! Neither was the plan of God destroyed during the Chosen People’s wanderings in the desert or their mingling with pagan gods or during their exile from Jerusalem, from the Presence of their God in the Temple. God is God; there is no other. The Chief Priests and Scribes and leaders of the Jewish people attempted to destroy the will of God by putting Jesus to death—God raised Jesus from the dead: the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church, against God’s plan for our salvation. Neither will the plan of God be obliterated today by the false gods of our times: possessions, pleasure, power. God’s authority will not be usurped by the authority of those in power today. God says to us, as He did to the Egyptians: “I am God; there is no other.”