June 29 - Feast of Saints Peter and Paul : To love Jesus in life and in death

June 26th, 2014

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First Reading         :  Acts 12:1–11  
Psalm                      : Psalm 34:2–9
Second Reading    :
2 Timothy 4:6–8, 17–18
Gospel                    :
Matthew 16:13–19 

 

Today we gather for the solemn celebration of Saints Peter and Paul, the principal Patrons of the Church of Rome. It is interesting to note the personalities of both Peter and Paul. Peter was impetuous, telling Jesus that he would die with him on Holy Thursday night if necessary (John 13:37) but later that night he denied he knew him. Yet what made Peter a suitable candidate for Jesus’ call was his love, so three times Jesus asked him if he loved him and asked him to look after the flock.  Paul was a controversial character in his own way. He had a fiery personality. In his early life he channelled that fire towards persecuting the Christians in Jerusalem, even witnessing the death of Stephen, the first martyr for Jesus (Acts 8:1). After his conversion Paul’s preaching was fiery and upset the churches. As we look at the personalities of Peter and Paul, we see that God called them to use their personalities to spread the Gospel, Peter to use his impetuous love to look after the flock, and Paul to use his training as a Pharisee and his strength of character to ensure that the non-Jews would be welcomed into the church. It is a reminder to us that our talents and our weaknesses too can become God’s means of helping others, if we allow. We don’t have to be perfect for God to work through us, God can work through us, faults and all, as he did with Peter and Paul.