The Holy Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Obedience so he can submit to the authority and teaching of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church and by growing in the Virtue of Studiousness so he can be formed and nourished by Sacred Scripture.
Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul – June 29 – Mt 16:13-19
After warning the disciples of the Pharisees’ poisonous teachings, Jesus leads the Apostles on a grueling 30+ mile walk north to Caesarea Philippi, the home of a temple where the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus was falsely worshiped as the “Son of God.” Before this false temple, Jesus reveals Himself as the true Son of God and establishes Peter as the exclusive Patriarch of Christ’s unconquerable Catholic Church. Later, Jesus calls Paul to join Peter as the second great pillar of His Holy Catholic Church.
To establish His Holy Catholic Church, Jesus chooses Simon, renames him Peter (Cephas, meaning “rock”) and gives Peter authority over the Church on earth after His Ascension. Peter, despite his flaws, does indeed become the “rock” of the Church Militant (the Church on earth), leading the Church for thirty years. Establishing the pattern of fearless leadership, Peter becomes the first pope (meaning “father”) and is crucified by the Roman Emperor Nero in the mid 60s A.D.; Peter is crucified head down by his own request for he believes he is unworthy to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus. Saint Peter’s relics continue to be venerated in the great St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Several years after His Ascension, Jesus personally appears to Saul, the violent Jewish persecutor of the Church, temporarily blinding him and calling him to conversion (Acts 9). Saul is converted, eventually taking the name of “Paul” and becomes the second great pillar of the Church Militant; the Apostle to the Gentiles. After his conversion, Paul spends the last 30 years of his life establishing the Catholic Church throughout Asia Minor, Greece and Rome, and he leaves a written record through his collaboration with Luke (Gospel of Luke and Acts) and his own epistles (Greek: “letters”). Paul was martyred by Nero in the late 60s A.D. and his relics continue to be venerated in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at the Divine Knowledge and Divine Prudence of Jesus in selecting the most unlikely of men, Peter, a simple, uneducated fisherman, prone to impulsiveness, and Paul, a highly educated but virulent anti-Christian, to build His Holy Catholic Church which continues to exist 2000 years after His Ascension.
Submit to the authority and teachings of the Church
Realize: In His Divine Wisdom, Jesus deliberately establishes a patriarchy, granting Peter and his successors authority over Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.
Believe: Reflect upon the Hierarchical Constitution of the Church (CCC 100, 552, 871-896, 937-939, 1463, 2034).
Pray: St. Peter, Glorious First Pope, pray that I grow in the Virtue of Obedience (a part of Justice) so I never rebel against the Blessed Trinity, I submit to the authority of the pope, and I always conform myself to the fullness of the faith found in the Magisterium of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church.
Be formed and nourished by Sacred Scripture
Realize: In His Divine Wisdom, Jesus calls and inspires Paul and others to help establish the early magisterium of the Church: Paul is credited with writing and influencing about half of the New Testament (Luke, Acts, his Epistles).
Believe: Reflect upon Sacred Scripture (CCC 101-141).
Pray: St. Paul, Sword of the Spirit, pray for me to grow in the Virtue of Studiousness (a part of Temperance) so I am moved to imitate your love of Scripture, I develop a daily discipline of reading and contemplating Scripture, particularly the Gospels, and I put on the full armor of God (Eph 6:10-18) and zealously engage in the Spiritual Battle to bring many souls to Christ Jesus.