I roused myself when Fr. Barron began to talk about John 6, the so-called "Bread of Life" discourse. We have been hearing a lot about this lately in Mass. I love John 6. Fr. Barron talked about how many of Christ's disciples left him because they could not live with what he was saying about eating his body and drinking his blood. But Peter stood up and said, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” Fr. Barron said the other disciples followed Peter and we have been following him ever since.
To me, that is when Peter's formation as the first pope began. Jesus had said that he would build his church on the rock (Peter) and if you think about it, our basilica, named St. Peter's, is built on that rock, since it is Peter's bones under the altar. It is Peter's church, and today his descendant Benedict sits in his chair in that church.
I like Peter. I thought a lot about him when I was in Rome. I like that he had a temper, and that he screwed up a time or two, but he went on to become the leader of the Church. I have a special place in my heart for him.
I thought a lot about St. Paul when I was there, too. To walk on the streets where he and St. Peter walked was truly overwhelming. To be where they had once been is just surreal to me still. When I think of Paul and how he overcame his former life to become one of the greatest apostles, I just know there is hope for me. I really love reading his writings and Peter's as well.
I can't decide which one I love the most, and I am glad I don't have to. Fr. Barron talked about how there are Petrine and Pauline Catholics, but I think I want to remain neutral and accept both of these great men for what they are - amazing.
St. Peter (at St. John Lateran Church) You can usually recognize him, because he has the keys.
St. Paul at St. John Lateran Church