This feast celebrates the mission of teacher and pastor which Jesus conferred on St. Peter, an ongoing mission that continues in an unbroken line down to Pope Francis. It is interesting that this feast has been celebrated in Rome and in Antioch since the early days of the Christian era. We celebrate the unity of the Church, founded upon Peter and the apostles; we renew our commitment to the Church and to the gospel of Jesus lived out in each of our homes and local communities.

Put yourself into the scene of today’s gospel text. Imagine Jesus looking intently at Peter. “Who do you say that I am,” Jesus asks. Peter responds: “You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.”  Of course Jesus asks each of us this same question. How do I respond to Jesus today?

―the Jesuit prayer team