Today is the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. These men were as different as men get. One was a fisherman and the other a man of letters. St. Paul said, “When Peter came to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to blame.” (Gal 2:11) St. Peter will say that Paul says a great many things that are difficult to understand. The Church makes it clear that these men are to be remembered together. There are two icons used for this feast. In the one Sts. Peter and Paul are hugging with their cheeks together and in the other icon (above) they are supporting the church in their arms. Both men are models of fidelity to Christ but both were sinners – Peter denied Christ and Paul persecuted Him. But they were equal in their election, alike in their toils and undivided in their death.
At that time, Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:13-19
Monday, June 29, 2009