June 29, 2021
Sts. Peter and Paul
The Goal
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have
kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7

When I was 31 years old, I decided to enter the Boston Marathon. My only goal was to finish the race in under 4 hours to receive an official certificate. I finished in 3 hours and 22 minutes—over an hour behind the winner. 

But this race is a spiritual teaching. St. Paul speaks of running a race as a metaphor for living one’s faith.  He was an unrelenting competitor, in for the long run, inspired and driven by faith. He said to run to receive the prize. 

After 50 years in the priesthood, I can humbly say that I competed the best I could, finished the race, kept the faith and now continue on to another finish line. The secret of success is faith in God, a confident attitude, keeping your goal a priority and being willing to sacrifice. It’s the way to go, whether it’s a foot race or a faith journey.

- Fr. James McKarns

Acts 12:1-11 • Psalm 34:2-9 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18 • Matthew 16:13-19


June 29, 2021 at 06:28 PM

I feel very inadequate in running my race as I started later in my life. Currently reading “Sensible Shoes” ( a spiritual journey) to help me continue .

June 29, 2021 at 12:46 PM

Talking about running a race...I tried to run a race in a cycling class as a newbie with my two girls at YMCA yesterday, I passed out after 15 minutes :-( *** Sometimes I wonder if I am running my own race or the race God has prepared for me? How did Paul know he has completed the race well, he has finished the race and he has kept the faith? Here is Paul's mission statement in Colossians 1:28-29, "So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me." *** So it is with me, "So I tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given me. I want to present you to God, perfect in your relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me!" To God be the glory, Amen! *** When I came to after I passed out yesterday, I was so tired that I told them to go on with the class and I just wanted to go back to sleep. Of course they have already cleared out the class and only the EMT and medics were there to take my blood and vitals. Thank God they let me not go to the hospital :-) I feel much better today, praise the Lord! ******* Truth be told, I wish God would have received me at that moment, but His plan is not my plan. I relate to what Paul said in 2 Timothy 8, 17-18, "From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for His appearance. The Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to His heavenly Kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen."

June 29, 2021 at 01:07 PM

Thank the Lord you're ok. God has plans for you to complete here first.

June 29, 2021 at 09:22 AM

The Solemnity Of Saints Peter & Paul is one of my favorite the church year. I look forward to absorbing these great men’s power, faith and love for Jesus. If you want to see true faith in action, look no further. Jesus chose Peter, not because he was famous, not because he was the best dressed, or educated. No Jesus chose Peter because he knew what was in Peters heart and soul. The Love to serve his Lord, the long awaited messiah he heard of while growing up and learning about in the temple. Jesus knew his heart and his soul and Jesus knows ours too. We cannot fool Jesus. Jesus chooses us, have he called you, if not because you have heard him call you. Maybe we are too far away in the worlds noice to hear. Come to him with your heart and soul, no expectations and free will, and say here I am Lord, teach me, I can learn from you. My heart longs for you and to your will. Paul on the other hand, was against Jesus most of his life and it took Jesus to strike down Paul during his conversion to see Pauls true light. Paul was a very smart man, and when shown the facts/ true light from Jesus, he never looked back and gain many souls for the kingdom. Together this duo helped the church grow in ways that still are strong today in the church. Without these two men, our church might now be and many souls for the kingdom could have been lost. Let us do our part for the souls of the kingdom, hear Jesus’s call to each of us. Come and remember his passion, and divine mercy today for each of us. Come to hm and listen, be still, do you hear him, he is calling you. May the prayers of our Living Faith Family be heard today, may the prayers of those ones who have no one to pray for them be heard, and may the souls in Purgatory see the face of Christ, we pray, Amen.

June 29, 2021 at 08:45 AM

Amen! Thank you for the encouraging words, Father McKarns. We have setbacks but we persevere.

Eleanor Pierre Respond to comment
June 29, 2021 at 08:34 AM

I want to thank God for my one and only son on his forty - first birthday. May His blessings continues to pour down on him.

June 29, 2021 at 08:19 AM

Amen! Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for this Gospel today. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord Jesus Christ have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen Holy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that you release your warrior angels and heavenly hosts. We decry and declare that they would take us off the enemies' radar and scramble the enemies' frequencies (airwaves). Your Kingdom must come now. Your will must be done right now, as in the heavens, also on earth. Amen Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts - by the power of God - Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

June 29, 2021 at 08:00 AM

Amen. :)

June 29, 2021 at 07:52 AM

Thank you Fr. Karns! Lord, I am running the race, sometimes lagging behind, sometimes with blinders on, sometimes going in the wrong direction, but with my faith in You and Your grace I will make it to the finish line. That is my goal! A blessed day and prayers to all!

June 29, 2021 at 07:32 AM

Amen! Amen! Amen! Lord you know my race and all I can say is WOW!! Gracias mi Dios :)

June 29, 2021 at 07:09 AM

Thank you Fr. James, your analogy prompted me to say that our marriage ran into difficulty but thankfully we both kept sight of the goal. We ran the race and continued on the journey. At times stepping off the track seemed the best option. We got help, mainly but not exclusively from Catholic groups. We kept going often only with blind faith. Keeping our spiritual eyes on the goal helped us see what lay beyond the dark clouds and blizzards of resentment doubt and confusion that were our present horizon. Now we have a great marriage, a better understanding of ourselves and each other. It's the prize that keeps on giving as our children who were affected during the worst of times are now married and raising their own families. I thank God daily that we stayed on the track even at times in utter confusion. A priest counsellor once told us that we should never stop trying to save our marriage as the gift of ourselves to each other was the prize we could achieve. At the time I thought he was nuts, but of course he knew better, just like you Fr. James he was quoting St. Paul and it was his prayer for us, I thank him for that. We are now a presenting couple for Retrouvaille one of the ministries that helped us. I use this scripture "I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith." in one of my presentations in the belief that I can sow the same seed into troubled couples relationships that was sown into ours all those years ago. Tomorrow June 30th is my wife Marians birthday. I will copy this devotional and my comment into an email to say Marian I love you very much and glad we stuck it out and both received the prize.

June 29, 2021 at 11:13 AM

Patrick, thanks for sharing your God story, History! Happy Birthday, Marian :-) I appreciate the two of you serving God's people in the midst of their difficult marriages sharing your individual God experiences!!! Way to Go, Lord! To You be all the glory :-)

June 29, 2021 at 07:39 AM

Amen. Thank you for your many years of service to our church Father. Patrick, thank you for sharing. I was touched by both of your reflections. Prayers for all. P.S. I would appreciate prayers for a successful dental surgery I’m having tomorrow.

June 29, 2021 at 07:36 AM

Patrick, Thank you for sharing your journey. It is so much easier to just give up on marriage than to work to save it. God bless you and your wife for not only saving your marriage but also for working to help others save theirs.

June 29, 2021 at 03:12 AM

This reading sounds like me one time here okay.

June 29, 2021 at 09:33 AM

Ken , we miss your Kathy too and all of the blessed stories you had shared with us all of these years. Our faith tells us that we all will be reunited in his kingdom, that this is our reward. We pray for Kathy’s soul every day. Amen. PS: Thank you for your great friendship all of these years.

June 29, 2021 at 08:00 AM

Patrick thanks for sharing. Living faith family today would have been my 47 wedding anniversary I miss, Kathy my wife and best friend. Please pray that the Lord continues to give me strength. I will share one morning prayer. Arising from Sleep O Master and holy God, who are beyond our understanding: at your word, light came forth out of darkness. In your mercy, you gave us rest through night-long sleep, and raised us up to glorify your goodness and to offer our supplication to You. Now, in your own tender love, accept us who adore You and give thanks to You with all our heart. Grant us all our requests, if they lead to salvation; give us the grace of manifesting that we are children of light and day, and heirs to your eternal reward. In the abundance of your mercies, O Lord, remember all your people; all those present who pray with us; all our brethren on land, at sea, or in the air, in every place of Your domain, who call upon your love for mankind. Upon all, pour down your great mercy, that we, saved in body and in soul, may persevere unfailingly; and that, in our confidence, we may extol your exalted and blessed Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, always, now and forever. Amen Please pray for Margaret and Ralph, Tony and Stephanie, and Carol Ann and Eric. Ken


Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

Latest Tweets

Most popular devotions

Receive a free reflection for Sundays every week via email

About Living Faith Living Faith Foundation Ambassador Privacy Policy Questions & Answers Contact Us

© 2021 Creative Communications for the Parish, a division of Bayard, lnc. All Rights Reserved.