Scripture Reading Reflection
SOLEMNITY OF PETER AND PAUL,
APOSTLES — JUNE 29, 2014
Each baptized member of the believing community is both confronted and challenged by Jesus’ question in Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 16:13-19): “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
As the Gospel indicates there are lots of possibilities: “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” What Jesus received as an answer could easily be called a “catechism” answer. “Who made you? God made me. Why did God create you? To love and serve the Lord…”
But Jesus is not interested in “catechism” answers. Jesus wants to know from all baptized believers what they really believe about Jesus from the depths of their souls.
“Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’” Through the grace of God, Simon was able to proclaim just who Jesus was. It is the same grace of God that allows the community to proclaim Simon’s faith through worship and service.
Jesus begins to call Simon “Rock” (the meaning of the word “Peter”). As the community anchors and shapes itself upon Jesus’ rock, it begins to believe Jesus’ blessing: “…and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)