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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

June 29th: Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles

Gospel text (Mt 16,13-19): Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi (…). Jesus replied, «It is well for you, Simon Barjona, for it is not flesh or blood that has revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. And now I say to you: You are Peter (or Rock) and on this rock I will build my Church (…)».

Saints Peter and Paul, apostles of faith

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, and since ancient times, the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the solemnity of these two great apostles —masters of the faith— as a single festivity. Peter was the "rock" on which the Church was built; Paul, the given voice to the Gospel in his stay among the gentiles (the non Jews).

They received from God a "peculiar" treatment. To Simon, the son of Jonas, Jesus Christ changed his name, announcing to him the duty of a particular mission: to confirm his brothers in the doctrine. Jesus expressly prayed for him —as a special gift from the Father— so that his faith would never falter. Saul of Tarsus was chosen while persecuting Christians: The risen Lord appeared to him (some 5 years after the Ascension), and the Lord said "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting".

—O Lord, through their martyrdom, Peter and Paul, fraternally embrace to become "brothers". Grant me the strength to continue building the “new Christian Rome” that they —together— founded.

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