STS. PETER & PAUL
Feast: June 29, Solemnity
This day has been made Holy by the passion of the apostles Peter and Paul. For their voice has gone forth to all the world, and to the ends of the earth their message.
Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one; and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching and their confession of faith. But most of all, let us celebrate The Christ for Peter exclaimed, "Lord to who shall we go? You have the words of Eternal Life; and we believe and are convinced that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?
God Our Father, today you give us the joy of celebrating the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul. Through them your Church first received the faith. Keep us true to their teaching. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
[Liturgy of the Hours]
Saint Peter, the first of the apostles and a fervent lover of Christ, merited to hear these words: I say to you that you are Peter, for he had said: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Then Christ said: And I say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church. On this rock I will build the faith that you now confess, and on your words: You are Christ, the Son of the living God, I will build my Church. For you are Peter, and the name Peter comes from petra, the word for "rock," and not vice versa. "Peter" comes, therefore, from petra, just as "Christian" comes from Christ.
As you are aware, Jesus chose his disciples before His passion and called them apostles; and among these almost everywhere peter alone deserved to represent the entire Church. And because of that role which he alone had, he merited to hear the words: To you I shall give the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. For it was not one man who received the keys, but the entire Church considered as one. Now insofar as he represented the unity and universality of the Church, Peters preeminence is clear from the words: To you I give, for what was given was given to all. For the fact that it was the Church that received the keys of the kingdom of God is clear from what the Lord says elsewhere to all the apostles: Receive the Holy Spirit, adding immediately, whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you retain, they are retained.
Rightly then did the Lord after His resurrection entrust Peter with the feeding of His sheep. Yet he was not the only disciple to merit the feeding of the Lords sheep; but Christ in speaking only to one suggests the unity of all; and so He speaks to Peter, because Peter is first among the apostles. Therefore, do not be disheartened, Peter; reply once, reply twice, reply a third time. The triple confession of your love is to regain what was lost three times by your fear. You must loose three times what you bound three times; untie by love that which your fear bounds. Once, and again, and a third time did the Lord entrust His sheep to Peter.
The Apostle Paul is one of the great missionary of the early church. Paul, then known as Saul, vowed to wipe out belief in Jesus Christ. After a vision he was converted to do the work of Jesus. Paul authored many of the books in the New Testament. He endured repeated attacks on his life, sickness, and rejection to bring the message of God's grace and forgiveness to Gentiles. Paul spoke before Jews, Greeks, and Romans. Paul is known as the apostle to the Gentiles. He defended God's Word before kings and emperors of this world. By the end of his life, thanks to Paul's journeys, much of the Mediterranean world had been reached with the gospel.
Both apostles share the same feast day, for these two were one, and even though they suffered on different days, they were as one. Peter went first, and Paul followed. And so we celebrate this day made holy for us by the apostles blood. Let us embrace what they believed, their life, their labors, their sufferings, their preaching, and their confession of faith.