Sunday, June 29, 2008

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Acts 12:1-11
2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18
Mt 16:13-19

Ordinary people called to do the extraordinary. That is what all of us are. Ordinary people called to do the extraordinary. Just look at the example of the two men whose lives we celebrate today, St. Peter and St. Paul. Ordinary men. Unexceptional in many ways. Peter was a simple fishermen. I doubt that he was highly educated, just a rough, unsophisticated working man. Yet look at the work that God accomplished through this simple man. When Jesus asked who do people say that I am, this simple fisherman had the answer. When facing persecution he did not flinch or back away from the truth, he stood by the Christ, spreading the Gospel, despite the cost. An ordinary man doing the extraordinary. St. Paul, on the other hand was educated, a Pharisee, familiar with the law. Yet even this Pharisee was an ordinary working man, a tentmaker by trade, a trade he continued to practice even as he worked fearlessly to spread the Good News throughout the world, even to the Gentiles. St. Peter and St. Paul, giants among the earliest followers of Jesus. Together they did much to make the name of Christ known to the world. As extraordinary as they were, as extraordinary as their lives were, the single most exceptional thing they did was to love. They accepted the love of Christ, then shared that infinite love with the world around them. Love is what made them extraordinary. Ordinary people called to do the extraordinary, in and through love. And that my brothers and sisters is what we are called to as well. We are called to accept the infinite love of God and in turn give that love to the world. In that sharing of God’s love we become ordinary people doing the extraordinary.

Deacon John
Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles
June 29, 2008