Acts 12:1-11; Psalm 33; 2Timothy 4:6-8,17-18; Matthew 16:13-19]

Both St Peter and St Paul are examples for us, they share the first example by having an intimate relationship with Jesus, although for Paul it wasn’t always so.

St Peter knew Jesus during his life on earth, he followed Jesus’ call while he was a fisherman and became a fisher of men. St Peter demonstrates for us many of our weaknesses. Despite his love of Jesus and his determination not to deny Him, he denied him three times, just as Jesus had told him he would. One of the beautiful things Jesus does for Peter is shown in the Gospel used for the Mass for the Vigil of this Solemnity. Jesus knows what is in all of our hearts, so He would have known how upset Peter would have been that he actually denied Jesus three times. In this Gospel Jesus gives Peter the opportunity to state his love for Jesus three times, and although this irritated Peter, it also redeemed him. Jesus was telling us that no matter how many times we fail in our relationship with Him, he will still give us the opportunity to declare our love for Him, so that we can be redeemed.

St Paul’s journey started off differently, he persecuted those who followed Jesus, he was present when St Stephen became the first martyr for Jesus. He admits that his attacks on the Church were merciless due to his enthusiasm for ‘the traditions of his ancestors’. If we recall the story of Paul’s conversion, we remember that Jesus did not ask him why are you persecuting my Church. No, he asked why are you persecuting me [Acts 9:4]. This reminds us that we are the Body of Christ. Paul was given the mission of taking the Good News out to those who do not know Jesus, to foreign lands; and we as Gentiles are products of that mission.

Both St Peter and St Paul shared the Good News, they did this by words and deeds. Just like them we are called to share our love of Jesus and we need to do this by words and deeds. In some ways they were both like the man in the adage who plants a tree knowing he will never sit under its shade.[1] We too are like this, we have opportunities to plant the seeds of faith into those we encounter, we may never see that seed shoot or grow or even bear fruit. But part of what makes us Christian is to be selfless, doing something for someone else and expecting nothing in return.

St Peter and St Paul responded to Christ’s call, like them we are called, like them we can get up and follow.

Further Reading

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

June 29: The Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul

CCC 153, 424, 440, 442, 552, 765, 880-881: Saint Peter
CCC 442, 601, 639, 642, 1508, 2632-2633, 2636, 2638: Saint Paul

Blessed Are Those Who Plant Trees Under Whose Shade They Will Never Sit – Quote Investigator®

Please keep in your prayers this week

  • The sick and housebound, those who are dying and those who are grieving.
  • Those seeking election, that they have a genuine call to serve their community and that they back up any promises they make with their actions.
  • Father Jean-Patrice that he makes a full recovery.
  • Deacon Tom Hiney and Deacon Ambrose Chou as they prepare for ordination to the Priesthood for our Diocese on the 13th of July.
  • Stephen Patterson and Zacharius Parambi as they prepare for ordination to the Permanent Diaconate on the 27th of July.
  • All those who established and those who continue to support the link between Bamenda and our Diocese which celebrates its Golden Anniversary this year. There is a Mass of Thanksgiving for this link at the Cathedral next Saturday at 11:00.

Deacon Tony 29th June 2024

[1] Blessed Are Those Who Plant Trees Under Whose Shade They Will Never Sit – Quote Investigator®