venerdì 29 giugno 2018

«Una corona sociavit»

NB: With this homily, your homilist takes a break. God bless!

As we have already done on other important festivals of the liturgical year, in order to deepen the meaning of the celebration, we can refer to the preface of the Mass. At the beginning of the Eucharistic Prayer we will say, “By your providence the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul bring us joy: Peter, foremost in confessing the faith, Paul, its outstanding preacher, Peter, who established the early Church from the remnant of Israel, Paul, master and teacher of the Gentiles that you call. And so, each in a different way gathered together the one family of Christ; and revered together throughout the world, they share one Martyr’s crown.”

In this text, the twofold mission of the Holy Apostles is highlighted. Two points are considered: the faith and the Church. As for the former point, Peter is the first—“foremost”—to confess his faith in Christ: as we have heard in the gospel, Peter says to Jesus, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Paul, on his part, is the “outstanding preacher” of the same faith: after his conversion, all his life was spent to announce the gospel all over the world. And at the end of his life he was in a position to say, “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”

As for the Church, both of them contributed to her establishment and propagation, but in a different way. Peter addressed the Jews; Paul, the Gentiles. In the letter to the Galatians, Paul says, “The one who worked in Peter for an apostolate to the circumcised worked also in me for the Gentiles.” God assigns different tasks and gives different graces: to Peter, the apostolate among the Jews; to Paul, the evangelization of the pagans. The Church is one, but with different charisms: Peter and Paul contributed, each with his own gift, to build her up. 

The life of the two Apostles was very different from each other, not only because they had been sent to different people, but also for their different characters. Sometimes they did not agree. But they had the same faith and they ended their life in the same place—Rome—testifying that faith by the shedding of their blood. As the preface says, “They share one Martyr’s crown” (Una corona sociavit) Let us pray to the Holy Apostles, that we too, with all our differences, may profess the same faith and build up the one Church.