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The Marvellous Saints

     I have always marvelled at the courage, bravery, faithfulness, and dedication St Paul and St Peter had in staying loyal to their missions that Christ left for them to fulfil. Their desire and devotion to the work that Christ left for them. Their extraordinary example of faithfulness and devotion to Christ is defiantly worthy of imitation.

     St Peter has been for me a role model for being able to find God in life. From the very beginning of his new ministry Peter dropped everything and left. He must have seen something special, something captivating within the Lord. Then again in todays Gospel, we hear Peter reply to Jesus question, " You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."  To this Jesus replies, " For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father in heaven"  Peter has been able to see the divinity in Christ, even before it is revealed to the people.


     It is a belief that this story happened after the resurrection of Christ, but was placed in the middle of Christs life by Matthew. This has become a belief because Matthew does not have an account of Peter visiting Jesus tomb after the women had returned back. This is thought to be the story of the interaction with Jesus. It not only is in Luke and John about Jesus and Peter meeting, it is also in Paul's first letter to the Corinthians 15:5. However, this is only one theory of many that people have come up with.

     Whatever the reason for this text, we (Catholics) know this reading as the institution of the papacy. Jesus handed down his mission to Peter to continue when he leaves. Catholics are the only ones that believe that this is the continuation down to the papacy. Protestants have a belief that is resembles Peters faith and their profession as Christ the Messiah. Anglicans and Eastern Orthodox have seen this reading has a contination of the Petrine office in the collective episcopate.

     Let us not forget, however, that in the greatness and success of St Peter and his mission lies the effects of his unfortunate disbelief. St Peter denied the Lord. He rejected ever knowing the Lord. It can be overlooked quite often the immense factor that denying the Lord played in the life of Peter and of the Church. Peter neglected the Lord, when the Lord needed him the most. But this does not go on without repentance. After his resurrection Jesus asked him three times if he Loves him. (This rebuilds the friendship and tares down then wall built by denial)

      But from this failure God made him something great. God called him to do something Greater, something better. God called him to lead the Church. Christ didn't call Peter to lead the church because of favouritism or because Peter was a fantastic leader. But rather, Christ called Peter because he knew his heart. The heart of dedication and sincere faith.

     St Paul, (formerly Saul)  was a persecutor of Christians. He killed them because he hated them. Saul lived a life dedicated to stopping the 'Christian movement." He was on his way to go persecute more Christians when the Lord called him. He was riding on a horse back, and then was knocked over and blinded by the Lord.

     Him and the Lord had a little chat and the end of it St Paul became one of the most dedicated evangelists among the gentiles. Making three trips to evangelize, Paul would initiate the faith in a town or city, and then would leave someone in charge and communicate with them with letters.

     St Paul, after his conversion, is not only an outstanding in spreading the faith, but his dedication to his faith. He admitted his faults, and recognized his former life. But realized and gave importance to his new life in Christ. He was called to become an evangelize. He was called to become an apostle.

     Today, as you might be able to tell, we celebrate the feast of St Paul and St Peter. We commemorate their martyrdom today. It is historically unplausable that these two saints died on the same day. Paul is though to have died around the year 62 AD and Peter 64 AD. Today is the day that traditionally newly ordained metropolitan bishops receive their pallium.

     These two exemplary saints, which we remember today, have two things in common: 1) They were called and 2) they had a name change. They were called by God to fulfil his plan. They were called to spread truth and to grow the church so that you, me, our ancestors and the people of the future will have a place to experience truth and a place to replenish our faith in Christ. They were called to dedicate their life to Christ. They were called from sin to a new, ever lasting life. It is common also, when God calls someone to a new life, that he changes their name. For example, Abraham was once called Abram but was switched to Abraham in his new life. Simon was changed to Peter, Saul was changed to Paul.

     May we come today to examine in our lives how God is calling us. May we come, through the wonerful tool of prayer, to listen to God and hear how he is calling us in this life. May we come and follow in the footsteps of St Peter and Paul to dedicate our lives for the Lord. To evangelize with not only our words but with actions also. May we come to hear God and to answer faithfully to his call.

Have a Great Sunday!









RESOURCES


  • The Gospel of Matthew by Daniel J. Harrington, S.J.  (pg 247-252) 
  • Workbook for Lectors Gospel Readers, and Proclaimers of the Word LTP CCCB (pg 222-225) 



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