Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah.
For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven.
Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven;
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Mt 16:17-19)
I, Paul, am already being poured out like a libation,
and the time of my departure is at hand.
I have competed well; I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance. (2 Tm 4:6-8)
Peter and Paul. They were, in many ways, complete opposites of one another. They were raised in different circles, they belonged to totally different groups, they approached their world in entirely different ways. Yet both of them were called to proclaim the Good News.
Peter had a personal relationship with Jesus. He was one of the chosen twelve. When it came time, Jesus founded the Church upon Peter after Peter’s declaration of faith that Jesus was the Messiah. It seems that you cannot get much closer than that. Peter spread the faith among the Jews of his time.
Paul, on the other hand, was an enemy of the early Church. He set his sight upon the elimination of all Christians as he believed them to be a danger to his society. He knew nothing of Jesus. He set about to persecute Jesus’ followers. Yet, when Paul met the Lord on the road to Damascus, he became an ardent Christian and was considered a great apostle to the Gentiles.
Peter and Paul have a great place in our Church and are a great inspiration to us all.
We are not all alike. Nor do we have to be.
We, in our own lives, in our own ways, are called by Jesus to go out and tell the Good News. “Apostle” literally means “one who is sent.” God calls us all. Let Him send you into His world today.
FAITH ACTION: In prayer this day, ask God to give you the courage of the apostles, that you may proclaim the Good News in our world.