Wednesday, February 10, 2010

St. Peter's Shadow

One of my favorite scripture passages is taken from Acts 5:15:

The people carried the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mattresses, so that when Peter passed by at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them.

Tomorrow we will celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes-TheWorld Day of Prayer for the Sick.  In Lourdes, the sick are treated with great respect.  They are given "first-place" in all the celebrations. Many times throughout the day in Lourdes and especially during the afternoon Eucharistic procession the sick are wheeled out into the esplanade area or the sanctuary of the Grotto. Many people are on stretchers.  When the blessing of the sick takes place, the priest makes his way through the aisles formed by sick pilgrims, blessing them with our Eucharistic Lord in the monstrance he carries. The hopeful pilgrims are waiting for the rays of His love and mercy and compassion to fall upon them.

Scripture tells us that St. Peter's shadow was powerful.  So powerful indeed, that not only were the sick cured, but those with unclean spirits were delivered as well.  So, we can imagine what a sight it must have been to see those that had been brought in on mattresses and cots standing up totally cured and praising God! 

Why was Peter's shadow so powerful? A shadow is produced by light! Christ is the light that reflected off of St. Peter.

St. Peter's shadow is still passing over us today in the Catholic Church through the holy priesthood of Jesus Christ who administer to us the Sacraments Jesus instituted.

In this "Year of the Priest" let us recall the power and mercy of St. Peter's shadow when we see any priest (usually dressed in black) pass by us, offer the Sacraments and show us the love and mercy of Christ.

Peace be with you!

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