YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE SOLEMNITY OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL
HOMILY THEME: SYMBOLS OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt. 16:13-19) Feast Of Ss. Peter and Paul, Apostles, also celebrated as Pope’s Day.
In the day’s Gospel we have the confession of Peter that Jesus is he Messiah. Jesus was quick to point out that it was the Father who revealed that truth to him. As a result, Peter was entrusted the key to the Kingdom. It means that he was to lead the People of God to salvation according to the teaching of Jesus. The key was symbolic of the entry which will be facilitated by the sacrament of reconciliation.
The second reading is an account of Paul’s own confession of his faithfulness to Christ. He likened his life and ministry to a race which he finished. He never wavered in witnessing to the Good News and preaching them to everyone he meets. The various letters he wrote attested to how he attended to the Gentiles, the non-Jews. The statues of Ss. PETER and PAUL can be seen guarding the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican in Rome, Italy. They are symbols of the universal Church. St. Peter represents the Jews, the chosen people. While St. Paul represents the Gentile, the non-Jews. There was an initial conflict in the faith with regards to the Jews and the Gentiles.
The leadership of both apostles resolved it and showed the true mission of Jesus which was entrusted to the Church. The Church was to be Jesus’s light for all nations. That is the meaning of the word “Catholic.” It is for all. We believe in the leadership of the pope. We believe the pope is entrusted with what was entrusted to PETER and the mission of PAUL. Human as he is, we believe he is inspired and guided by the Spirit. He is a sign of unity. In and with his leadership, the deposits of faith is transmitted from one generation to another. We thank God for the gift of papacy. We thank God for Ss. PETER and PAUL.