Saturday, June 29, 2013

Remembering St. Peter and St. Paul in their distinct missionary work

June the 29th  marks the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul. This joint celebration of these great saints honors two that we can easily relate and identify with. Both were very different people from different backgrounds. Both are united, not only in their distinct missions, but also in their deaths as martyrs.

Peter, the leader, from a fishing background, was considered impetuous and unreliable, yet he was big enough to come back and accept Jesus’ second invitation, this time as leader rather than follower. Peter, “the rock”, stands for solidity, steadfastness and strength.

Paul, a latecomer to Christian belief, was the greatest missionary and a most influential theologian. Considered the dynamic one, he had the courage to move out into the gentile world and he fearlessly gave witness while never giving up the "race".

Both Peter and Paul were deeply concerned with freedom, true freedom. "For freedom Christ has set us free" (Gal 5:1). Both experienced the good news as bringing freedom to their lives. Paul had been a zealot for the law until his meeting with Christ set him free from the letter of the law.

Peter’s liberation from prison was a dramatic sign of the inner freedom he had experienced. Having denied Christ three times, Jesus set him free from his guilt and shame and entrusted him with leadership.

Christ recognized in both Peter and Paul their gifts and their limitations - their humanity.

Let us ask the Lord, that through the intercession of Saints Peter and Paul, we may be faithful witnesses of the love of God in our lives. 

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