Pope St John Paul II said these words on this day in 2001: ‘“Who do you say that I am?”. Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” This conversation between Christ and his disciples, which we have just heard again, is always relevant to the life of the Church and of Christians. At every moment in her history, especially those which are the most decisive, Jesus questions his followers and, after asking them what “people” think of him, he narrows the field and asks them: “But who do you say that I am?”. We heard this question echoing in the background throughout the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000. … Today’s celebration highlights the role of Peter and his Successors in steering the barque of the Church across this “ocean”. … Let us thank God together for founding his Church on the rock of Peter. … Let us pray intensely that amid the upheavals of the world, she may not be shaken but advance with courage and trust.

Let us ask God for this gift of courage and trust, as we face the challenges of our own day; and may God bless you abundantly.