Sunday 29-06-14 St.Peter and St.Paul
Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, today we celebrate the solemnity of the two pillars of the church: St.Peter, the prime among the twelve apostles and St.Paul, the apostle of the gentiles. Both of them proved their love for and loyalty to Jesus Christ their Lord and master by laying down their lives.
We see Peter, a Galilean fisherman with all his weaknesses and frailties was called by Jesus and entrusted to him the care of the church. His former name was Simon which means weak or reed and later was changed by Jesus to Peter, meaning rock. It is on this solid foundation Jesus built his community of believers, the church. Of course, it is a clear indication that those people who are called by Jesus may not be strong, intelligent, or powerful. But what matters is whether they are faithful to him or not. It was not Peter’s physical strength or fisherman’s experience that Jesus wanted but fidelity to and love for him. Once Peter felt that his strength is nothing other than Jesus Christ the crucified he was not afraid or ashamed of proclaiming Jesus as the Lord and God even in the midst of cruel persecutions and sufferings. In the book of the Acts we read that St.Peter rejoicing as they were flogged by the Jewish council. They considered it even worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of Jesus’ name.
Paul was totally contrary to Peter’s character. He was a Pharisee who had procured higher knowledge of Jewish law under Gamaliel and a roman citizen. Because of his zeal for the Jewish law only he started persecuting Christians. As in the case of Peter, Jesus was not attracted by Paul’s intelligence or his knowledge of the law but his love for Jesus. Even though he was abandoned by his friends, fellow Jews, and the pagans, he kept for himself that Jesus Christ has made him his own. Therefore, he was not afraid of proclaiming Jesus even in the midst of many a suffering that is elaborated in the second of Corinthians. Also we read in the letter to the Colossians, Paul who was persecuting Christians earlier now rejoicing in his sufferings for Jesus’ sake, longing for completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.
Dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, on this feast of St.Peter and St.Paul, let us be more courageous and confident to proclaim Jesus in our daily life. Jesus does not count our money, education, family background or beauty but our openness, simple love and fidelity. With these we can do a lot for Jesus in and around our family and our village. It may be our family prayer, teaching children about Jesus and the church, going to the church and participating in the prayers and the holy Eucharist. Or even it may be our simple life witnessing Christian values, being honest, human, loving, helping out others. Then Jesus will work even wonders through us. Let us not forget that it was neither Mary nor servants who worked wonder at Cana. But their roles were also counted by Jesus. We are not called to do only extra ordinary things in our lives to be true Christian, but to do ordinary things in an extra ordinary way of fidelity to Christ, charity towards our brethren and hope in the life everlasting. Blessed Mother Theresa once said, “we are not called primarily to be successful in life but faithful in life.”
Let us in a special way pray and believe with St.Paul, I can do all things in Jesus Christ who strengthens me. Let us keep it as a special mantra of our daily life. May Mary mother of Jesus intercede for us that we may become simple, true witnesses to Jesus Christ from today on. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit! Amen.