Wednesday, June 29, 2011
June 29 -- Feast of Saints Peter and Paul
If you were in Malta today, you'd enjoy a day off. L'Imnarja, the feast of Peter and Paul, is a national holiday there. Since you're here (wherever that is), you'll have to reflect on your own time.
I've heard it said that Peter and Paul, not Jesus, were the first Christians. Certainly Jesus' statement in Matthew 5:18, "For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished," seems to run counter to Acts 10:15, in which Peter receives a divine repeal of the dietary restrictions. [“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”] Paul similarly felt free to revise the Law -- so free, in fact, that no divine message or dream was offered as justification. [For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6]
Peter baptized Cornelius the Centurion, thus making the first non-Jewish member of the Church. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, spread Christianity throughout the classical world. Both were eventually martyred, but by the time of their executions (c. AD 64 - 65), the Faith was firmly planted in cities throughout the Mediterranean.
Posted by Tom Major at 4:00 AM