Tuesday 3 June 2014

Saints Peter & Paul, Apostles

Why do we remember Saints Peter and Paul?

Saint Peter was the first Pope and kept the rapidly growing church united in the years following Pentecost. In the first years after Pentecost it was Jews who accepted Jesus as the Saviour and so the early church was a very Jewish church. Paul preached to non-Jews, the Gentiles as they were called. All of us are Gentiles. His preaching was very successful and he brought huge numbers of non-Jews into the church, so much so that the number of Jews in the church was greatly outnumbered by non-Jews. It is because of Paul that we are now in the Church.

Also, the personalities of both Peter and Paul gives us something to reflect on. Peter was impulsive, telling Jesus that he would die with him on Holy Thursday night if necessary, but later that night he denied he knew him. Yet Jesus chose Peter because of his love: three times Jesus asked him if he loved him and asked him to look after the flock. Paul had a fiery personality. In his early life he channeled that fire towards persecuting the Christians in Jerusalem, even witnessing the death of Stephen, the first martyr for Jesus. After his conversion, Paul’s preaching was fiery for the Gospel.

Looking at the personalities of Peter and Paul, we see that God called them to use their personalities to spread the Gospel. Peter used his impulsive love to look after the flock, and Paul used his fiery preaching and personality to ensure that the non-Jews would be welcomed into the church. It is a reminder to us that our talents and our weaknesses can become God’s means to help others and guide others to Him. We don’t have to be perfect for God to work through us. God can work through us according to our abilities, as he did with Peter and Paul.

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