The Apostles were witnesses of the life and teachings of Jesus, and they faithfully transmitted to us the doctrine they had heard and the facts they had seen. We have made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, not according to clever fables, but because we have been eyewitnesses of his majesty, writes St. Peter. St. John tells us insistently: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked upon and touched with our hands concerning the Word of Life (...) we proclaim to you9. And St. Luke, who we do not know if he received a direct teaching from the Lord, affirms that he is going to describe in order from the beginning all the events of the life of Christ according to those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word10. Of that first Christian community of Jerusalem we know that they all persevered in the instructions of the Apostles. The teaching of the Twelve, not the free interpretation of each one, nor the authority of the wise men, is the foundation of the Christian faith.
The voice of the Apostles is the clear echo of the teachings of Jesus, which will resound until the end of time: their heart and their lips overflow with veneration and respect for his words and for his Person. A love that makes Peter and John exclaim, in the face of the threats of the Sanhedrin: we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.
It is this same faith that, from generation to generation, guarded by the Magisterium of the Church, with the continuous assistance of the Holy Spirit, has come down to us. In these truths there has been and continues to be a development and growth like that of the seed that becomes a great tree. The Church is the channel through which the teaching of Christ, enriched by divine grace, reaches us. This is what we must make known in catechesis, in the personal apostolate, the priests in their preaching....
Many centuries separate us from the Apostles we celebrate today. Nevertheless, the Light and Life of Christ that they preached to the world continues to reach us. "The light of Christ is not extinguished! The Apostles transmitted this light to their disciples and these to their disciples, until it reached us through the centuries and until the end of time. Through how many and how many different hands this light has passed (...). To all of them we owe a great debt of gratitude. For us too, the flock that in these days approaches his pastures, he has foreseen teachers, shepherds and priests. He works through his poor arms the wonder of our salvation. He cares for us with divine love. All the stars bring their radiance from Him. All the seas sing to him. All the heavens praise him. Let us not fail to do so.