I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.
The Lord stood by me and gave me strength,
so that through me the proclamation might be completed
and all the Gentiles might hear it.
And I was rescued from the lion’s mouth.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat
and will bring me safe to his heavenly Kingdom.
To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.
June 29th is the feast day of Saints Peter & Paul. Peter was the apostle to the Jews and Paul to the Gentiles. These two great disciples of Christ are largely responsible for the Christian faith spreading throughout the world.
In Rome last year we went on the Scavi Tour which goes underneath this historic basilica of St. Peter. Directly below the main altar in the basilica is the tomb of St. Peter. What a powerful experience that was for our group to be near the remains of this great man. We could only imagine the number of people that came to that spot to pay respect to the greatest of the apostles. He is the rock and upon him Jesus built His church.
Then we went to visit the Basilica of St. Paul. We read in the Scriptures how St. Paul traveled all over the world preaching the Gospel despite many arrests, beatings and injuries. Paul kept his eyes on the goal – eternal life with Jesus Christ.
Both men were convinced that Jesus had died and rose again from the dead. Do we believe it? Does this give us hope in the midst of pain, suffering, trials and tribulations? It says in Scripture so often, “Do not be afraid”. May we keep our eyes focused on the goal of eternal life and share our reason for hope with everyone that we meet. And may people hundreds of years from now know Christ because of our actions today. Think about that – someone centuries from now could possibly be a Christian because of your witness today.