When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi
he asked his disciples,
Who do people say that the Son of Man is?
Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.
He said to them,
But who do you say that I am?
Simon Peter said in reply,
You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus said to him in reply,
Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
— MT 16:13-19
The peace of the Lord be with you. Nineteen years ago today Linda and myself, along with several other individuals from Saint Rose, were lead on a pilgrimage to Italy by Father Joe Klatka. One of the first things we encountered was people exiting Saint Peters Basilica after the celebration of the Solemnity of Peter and Paul. When you’re in a place like that you begin to get a sense of the depth, breadth, and magnitude of our Holy Catholic Church. In this one place, there were people from all over the world. There was a true sense of the universality of the message of Jesus.
Our faith tradition was predominately championed by two key figures: Peter and Paul. We can never underestimate the power of God and how by responding to his call, those closest to us, and the world, can be changed.
Through the intercession of Saint Peter, may we always be able to recognize God’s presence in and among us. Through the intercession of Saint Paul, may we always fearlessly proclaim Gods truth and the freedom that comes from recognizing Jesus as the son of God who broke the chains of sin and death. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.