Speaking before the recitation of the Angelus on the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, patrons of Rome, Holy Father Pope Francis reflected on Jesus’ dialogue with Peter and the disciples regarding His identity. The Pontiff said that the dialogue between Jesus and his disciples regarding His identity is one that continues to our day.

As reported by Vatican news, Holy Father Pope Francis remarked that “This Gospel episode is fundamental for our journey of faith” because it demonstrates a crucial dialogue between Jesus and his disciples. With the first question, Who do others say the Son of Man is? (Mt 16:13), Jesus seems to be saying that it is one thing to follow the current opinion. With the second, “Who do you say that I am? (Mt 16:15), Jesus is saying that it is another thing to encounter Him and open oneself to His mystery. Down through the ages, Jesus has been defined in various ways, creating a Babel of hypotheses. Peter’s confession stands out among the responses offered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. Grace gives our hearts the certainty that Jesus lives eternally just as the Father. It is the same certitude experienced by Christians.”  Further, His Holiness added, “Jesus’ response is illuminating: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt 18). This is the first time that Jesus uses the word “Church”. He does so expressing all His love for her, which He defines as ‘My Church’.” Jesus’ new Covenant community is based on faith in Him rather than on physical descent and on the mosaic law.”

His Holiness Pope Francis concluded his remarks by asking that, through the intercession of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, that the Lord grant to the Church the grace of remaining faithful to the Gospel in whose service both Saints Peter and Paul “consecrated their lives”.