Today we celebrate the feast day of the two great pillars of our Catholic faith in Sts. Peter and Paul. The New Testament is full of stories of how these two devoted themselves to spreading the good news and building up the early church, St. Peter as the first Pope and Bishop of Rome, and St. Paul in proclaiming the gospel to the Gentiles.
In Matthew 16:13-19, Jesus asks Peter; “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus really isn’t interested what others think of him, but he is very interested in what I think of him. He asks this question of all of us to see how committed I am to him. God really wants to know ! Is he just a picture on the wall or on a holy card ? Is he just an important figure from the past ? Or does he have a real place of importance in my life ? After all, he is the Son of God who came into the world to save us. How does this reality change my life ?
How did it change the lives of Peter and Paul ? Both had rocky beginnings. Peter denied him three times. Peter felt unworthy of his calling saying; “leave me lord for I am a sinful man“ (Luke 5:8). Paul also had a rocky start persecuting the early church and its followers, saying; “I am the least of the apostles …. I do not even deserve the name.” (1 Cor 15:9). Most of us feel we are not qualified or worthy to be an evangelist for Jesus. So today let us look to Sts. Peter and Paul for inspiration, not exasperation. Like us they were sinners who were touched by grace. How are we any different ?
St. Joseph, pray for us !
DeColores, Deacon Doug