The Preface for Sunday last, the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, nicely describes the distinct and complementary ministries of the two Martyrs of Rome, Apostles to the whole Church.
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,
always and everywhere to give you thanks,
Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God.
For by your providence
the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul bring us joy:
Peter, foremost in confessing the faith,
Paul, its outstanding preacher,
Peter, who established the early Church from the remnant of Israel,
Paul, master and teacher of the Gentiles that you call.
And so, each in a different way
gathered together the one family of Christ;
and revered together throughout the world,
they share one Martyr’s crown.
And therefore, with all the Angels and Saints,
we praise you, as without end we acclaim:
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…
Rather nicely, in the image above of a glass disk from the collection of the Vatican museum the two saints do indeed share a single crown!
So often in life we notice and then focus on what distinguishes us from one another. Too often we neglect what we have in common.
Jesus, by contrast, seems to have specialised in finding common ground with those who others have excluded and set apart.
- In a time of prayer and reflection consider where you might do the same.
Image from the Vatican Museum.