Each has his own basilica in Rome. This is an old feast because it commemorates the death of neither Peter nor Paul. It comes from the 300’s to recall a day when a joint feast was established.
Peter and Paul represent two complementary dimensions of the Church. Peter maintains the traditions; Paul represents the drive to adapt, expand and amplify the Gospel. Peter is the centripetal force that seeks the center; Paul is the centrifugal force that reaches to embrace different cultures and perhaps, one day, different planets.
The Church needs both. Without the centering of Peter, the Church would have been a loose collection of fragmented sects. Without the expansive force of Paul, the Church would have stayed a Jewish group in Jerusalem.
The same is true of our spiritual lives. Peter holds us to our center – the core of our faith which is our relationship with all the changes of our life. With Paul, we gather new insights and new understandings of discipleship and of our Lord. Sometimes, we develop new spiritual practices as the seasons of our life change.
What is true of the Church is true of our individual selves: we have to change to keep our ancient faith a living thing.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, You give us he great joy of devoting this day to the honor of the apostles Peter and Paul. Grant that Your Church may follow their teaching to the full, because these are the men who first taught us to worship You in Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jakarta, 29 June 2019
A Christian Pilgrim