From the Novus Ordo Sacramentary (Altar Missal) above, and from the Novus Ordo Lectionary below.
So, which is it, a feast celebrating on the same day two of the Papal Basilicas in Rome, of Saint Peter on Vatican Hill and of Saint Paul Outside the Walls [Yes], or is this about the dedication of the more modern EUR Basilica named after both Saint Peter and Saint Paul? [No]. But we do see these two statues or copies of these great saints juxtaposed, the one of Peter the other of Paul, both at basilicas named for both or named just for one or the other.
The combination in the same liturgical feast has the same effect. One might think that this is to express the universality of evangelistic outreach, Peter for the Jews and Paul for the Gentiles. Granted. But there is more. Remember this rather unusual icon of friendship between the two?
The reason to emphasize friendship is because this is consequent to Paul rightly smashing Peter down to the ground:
- “When Cephas [=Rock=Peter (how ironic)] came to Antioch, however, I [Paul] opposed him to his face, because he stood to be condemned” (Galatians 2:11).
Basically, Peter had insisted on the circumcision, basically saying to hell with redemption by Christ Jesus.
The friendship of Peter and Paul, and the sine qua non as to why Peter continued to be a true Apostle for the Jews and the sine qua non as to why Paul continued to be an Apostle for the Gentiles is that Paul followed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to severely reprimand the traitorous Peter, and then Peter followed the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to accept the reprimand of Paul.
- If Paul didn’t make the reprimand he himself would have gone to hell and dragged Peter with him.
- If Peter didn’t accept the reprimand he himself would have gone to hell in an attempt to drag the Church with him.
But Paul rejoiced to see the acceptance of his reprimand to Peter, and Peter rejoiced to accept the reprimand from Paul. Thus the joyful embrace: what a relief.
This particular joy of helping each other out in God’s grace is so very Catholic. This is what we do. Without us helping each other, pointing each other to Jesus, we all go to hell.
Be Catholic. Reprimand someone in the charity of justice. Be justly reprimanded by someone’s charity.