Thursday, June 30, 2016

Remembering St. Peter & St. Paul (Feast Day: June 29)

Some interesting thoughts about St. Peter (and Paul) our Patron Saint.

Scripture does not tell us how this conflict ended as far as these two men are concerned although subsequent tradition claims that they were indeed reconciled. Likewise, the Johannine literature stemming from the Beloved Disciple was integrated into the New Testament, creating a deeper unity then Peter and the Beloved Disciple seem to have had. The art of differing and reconciling with others is much too complex to be taught in a brief sermon, but we have a couple of basics to get us started. 1) Keep our attention focused on those who depend on us for pastoral support; 2) Remember that Divine Providence can and will work out a deeper harmony underlying our conflicts and it isn’t always up to solve them, which means that, as Peter was told to stop worrying about his rival, we should stop worrying about our own rivals quite so much. And now for a third thought: Both Peter and Paul had much to repent of and they did just that. Can we do the same?

Peter and Paul were surely flawed. In fact one of the striking things about our tradition is that it captures and preserves their errors. Among the greatest stories of our faith is that of Peter’s denial of Jesus – not once, but three times. We also remember that Saul breathed “threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.” They were granted the grace to begin again, and so are we.

And when we break bread together, we can enjoy this appetizer made with first-century Roman ingredients:

Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini

Ingredients: 1 loaf crusty Italian Bread
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup goat cheese
1/4 cup fig jam
1 pint fresh figs, sliced

Optional Swaps: Any kind of bread slices
Perhaps cream cheese for the young palate
Grape jelly
A large apple, sliced (Fresh figs are seasonal and may be unavailable. Apples are a great swap because early Romans loved apples and propagated them throughout their empire.)

Instructions: 1. Slice bread, brush with olive oil, and toast.
2. Spread toasted slices with cheese.
3. Carefully spread jam on top of the cheese.
4. Set a sliced piece of fruit on top of each and serve as a snack or appetizer.

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