Matt 16: 13-19
When Jesus arrived in the villages of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “What are people saying about who the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some think he is John the Baptizer, some say Elijah, some Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”
He pressed them, “And how about you? Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter said, “You’re the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus came back, “God bless you, Simon, son of Jonah! You didn’t get that answer out of books or from teachers. My Father in heaven, God himself, let you in on this secret of who I really am. And now I’m going to tell you who you are, really are. You are Peter, a rock. This is the rock on which I will put together my church, a church so expansive with energy that not even the gates of hell will be able to keep it out.
“And that’s not all. You will have complete and free access to God’s kingdom, keys to open any and every door: no more barriers between heaven and earth, earth and heaven. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is no in heaven.”
St Peter and St Paul are often described as the ‘columns of the faith’: Peter was the rock upon which the Church was built, and Paul was the apostles of the Gentiles, especially chosen by Christ to carry the Good News to those who were not Jews. Today, as we celebrate their feast, I reflect on my faith, especially that it is a great gift from God, which I received when I was baptised, and in which I grew through the ministry of so many others: starting from the apostles, down to my parents, teachers, catechists, parish community, friends, and so many other witnesses. I thank God for this great gift, and ask for the ability to know how to transmit it to others, not as a museum piece but as a living reality.
I also reflect in gratitude that I am not called to live this alone, but with others, in the community we call the Church. I talk with Jesus on my membership in the Church, and ask him to help me be a living stone in this his house. May this house be open to all men and women of all time.