With joy, we celebrate today the Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul. They are the two pillars on whom Christ built His Church and entrusted the Faith. Their own Faith had been tested, when Peter denied Jesus and when Paul persecuted Jesus’ followers. Later, when their Faith had been strengthen and made firm, they dedicated themselves to spreading the Gospel and did so in a heroic fashion.
We can learn from both Peter and Paul how to allow Christ to take possession of our lives, to such an extent that we live for Him and for His Church and we are found ready to suffer for the same Faith they professed. We give thanks to the Lord for giving us these two “greats” of the Church.
Also, we ask the Lord to bless us so that we might be “the Church of Peter” – firm in our resolve, built on rock, united in the Body of Christ, and filled with trust that nothing can possibly overcome us. May we also be “the Church of Paul” – dynamic, without borders, uneasy until we have done all we can do to make sure that everyone might come to know and accept Jesus as Lord.
For further reflection: the Feast of these two Apostles is celebrated in remembrance of both of them on the same day. Why? Perhaps because it is a Feast of the whole Church and not just their Feast. Their unity reflects the fact that the Church is one … and not merely an individual matter. Whereas they were quite different from each other, they stand together through the ages as a model of “communion” (or a common union). Peter was a fisherman, without much formal education, but filled with a compassionate heart. Paul was an intellectual, well-read, from a noble family, a Roman citizen, and filled with reason. Each of them continues to offer himself entirely to the Church, with unique and varied gifts, in order to bring glory to God. May we follow faithfully in their footsteps.