They are the pillars in the Church of Rome!
Ah, Rome! In 2004, I spent a summer with the Rome Experience Program, studying in her colleges, walking through her ancient corridors, streets, and alley ways. On a Solemnity like today, the bells, smells, incense … the mystery hidden in the liturgy are all too familiar to me, even as I find myself on the opposite side of the world, far from Rome, in a place where Guadalupe is revered.
Peter & Paul were both sinners. Peter, in our Lord’s most trying passion, denied the Lord and repented from his sin. In the Resurrection event, Peter’s love was strengthened by our Lord’s invitation to breakfast and that all too important question, “Do you love me?”
Paul was the premier persecutor of our ancient ancestors. He was there when Stephen was stoned as the first Christian witness in the Book of Acts. Yet, in our Lord’s mercy, Jesus changed his heart and turned his messy live into a missionary life, brining the message of compassion and mercy to the world.
They were sinners and so are we. God, in Jesus Christ and through the power of his Spirit, can and will change us. He leads us to fresh streams were we can commune with him and find strength to live for him, to defend him, and to protect his Church from its enemies.
May Peter and Paul along with the prayers of Guadalupe strengthened us for this mission on the Solemnity of these magnificent pillars of the Church.