Underneath my feet the dirt was compacted from centuries of feet pacing the road. To my sides, brick upon brick, walls of small buildings stood side by side. They were the family tombs of those who lived centuries ago. And above me there was no sky, no light, only the weight of a basilica of Rome. There in the damp darkness of the ancient necropolis, excavated during the World Wars, they had searched and searched for the rock upon which Christ built His Church. They eventually found the remains of an older man near an inscription:
“Peter is here"
We walked up the length of the ancient Roman road until we came to a small room where those remains were carefully wrapped up in cloth and tied with a string. Tears filled my eyes. Peter is here. And even though it might not have been meant literally, the Church of Christ was built upon this rock of a man. What a beautiful weight he carried.
When they came face to face with Jesus, Saint Peter and Saint Paul knew who He was. While they were very different in the way they lived out their devotion to Christ, they were united in their communion with Him. I pray that I have an ounce of their courage and faith. I pray that when I am weak and sin I can turn to the Lord over and over again as Peter did. I pray that I might have Paul’s endurance to finish the race.
Today, on this Solemnity of Peter and Paul, let’s ask that these two great martyrs would pray for us, that regardless of what our faith life looks like, we would know that we are all united in Christ.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Jacqueline Skemp is a daughter, sister, wife, and mother who endures living in Minnesota after leaving California for her one true love. You can find out more about her here.