|No Opposition - A Homily|
Solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul - 29 June
by Timothy Radcliffe O.P.
By the entrance to the Basilica of Santa Sabina in Rome, where I lived for nine years, the fifth century mosaics give equal dignity to Peter and Paul as cofounders of the diocese of Rome. They are identified respectively as the apostles to the Jews and to the Gentiles.
This was more than a territorial division of the mission. It implied different roles. Peter had been with the Lord since the beginning of his mission, 'during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us' (Acts 1.21). He had been at the centre of the Jewish community that Jesus gathered around himself. He was the guardian of the received tradition. Paul was the latecomer, was sent by Jesus to initiate a new moment in the evolution of the Church, the outreach to the Gentiles. This is symbolised by their basilicas, St Peter's in what is now the centre of Rome, and St Paul's outside the Walls, summoning us beyond the confines of any fortress that we may construct.