June 29, 2021

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles

Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

What a devastating question this is to ask someone who had just recently denied three times that he even knew Jesus, that he had ever been a disciple! And, of course, Jesus would repeat his question three times. Jesus did not need to be reassured that Peter really loved him. Peter, however, needed the ability to make amends for his denials. Peter’s mission of reconciliation would be not to show his allegiance in some way to Jesus but to show his love for Jesus’ children.

We have another example of love for Jesus in the apostle Paul, a former persecutor of the church. “I want you to know, brothers and sisters,” he said, “that the gospel preached by me is not of human origin. For I did not receive it from a human being, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.” Paul was so impressed with Jesus’ love for him that he devoted his entire life to proclaiming that love to others. In his own words, he was able to do more than all the other apostles put together.

Peter and Paul are the ones spoken of most often in the Acts of the Apostles. Both of them ended up in Rome, giving their lives out of love for Christ. As we celebrate their feast day today, we can look to them as models of what our Christian lives should be like. No matter how much we need to reaffirm our love for Jesus, we can become new people. At every Mass, we can answer Jesus’ question, “Do you love me?” with a resounding, “Yes! You know that I do!” So then, “Feed my sheep.”

Let Us Pray:

O Jesus, at every Mass, you ask me if I truly love you. And I am reminded that my yes to your question is proven by how well I love my neighbor. Help me to be true to the responsibility you give me each day.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.