Dear Friends in Christ,
On this Feast of SS Peter & Paul we focus on the gift of revelation through which these two giants of the Christian faith entered into the mystery of the Christian life.
Revelation can best be understood as a gift of grace through which we grasp or understand or receive insight into the mystery of God in Christ. Revelation is a form of knowledge which reason itself cannot penetrate. We are blessed in today’s Gospel to see revelation at work, so to speak. Peter’s confession that Jesus is the Christ did not and could not come from ‘flesh and blood’ or human thought or reasoning. Jesus is explicit and clear where this gift of revelation came from – from his heavenly Father.
Paul having suffered intensely at the hands of his fellow believers, who constantly questioned his authority and credentials, pointed to this gift of revelation as the way in which he took hold of the gospel: ‘For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ’. There you have it in a nutshell: the two apostles were both recipients of the grace of revelation.
We too seek this grace of revelation and, as St. Pope John Paul II explained, our search must draw us to the Father: ‘How had Peter come to this faith? And what is asked of us, if we wish to follow in his footsteps was ever greater conviction? Matthew gives us an enlightening insight in the words with which Jesus accepts Peter’s confession: “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven”. The expres sion “flesh and blood” is a reference to man and the common way of understanding things. In the case of Jesus, this common way is not enough. A grace of “revelation” is needed, which comes from the Father’.
Lord Jesus, grant me in ever-deeper measure the grace of revelation into the rich panoramas of Christian truth. I humbly confess that I come to the fullness of contemplation of your face by my own effort and must let you take me by the hand.