Monday, June 29, 2015

Saint Peter and Saint Paul

Statue of St Peter outside the Vatican
The church honors today the two great apostles, who in spite of their background or weakness, became leaders of the early church in Rome and in Eastern Europe. Who would have thought that a simple fisherman and an unpretentious tent-maker would one day become the pillars of the church! Peter and Paul’s life story can very well be described as the ‘rags-to-riches’ journey. And yet the spiritual and historical influence and impact they left on the history of Christianity is truly amazing.
St Peter was one of the privileged three who were close to Jesus on various occasion, along with John and James. He was the first apostle to perform a miracle, and we admire the triple affirmation of faith to erase completely the triple denial during Christ’s passion. He was chosen to be the first Pope of the Church realizing that Jesus saw something special in him - not John who remained faithful till the end, who wrote a beautiful Gospel, but Peter - the rough and tough type, the weakling who became the rock.

Statue of St Paul in San Paolo fuori le mura
St Paul on the other hand made his turnaround quickly and in a determined way. From being so helpless at his conversion, to becoming a strong powerful spokesperson for Christ, traveling hundreds of miles, on foot, by boat, probably on horseback, writing prolifically his letters to communities he had previously visited. Then he was sent to Rome to be tried as a Roman citizen, only to have his ship wrecked on my homeland Malta (Acts chapters 27-28).

Let us remember today the dominant image these two apostles represent in our church....Peter, the rock, the foundation, and Paul, the messenger par excellence of Jesus.

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