Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sts. Peter & Paul

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

I have a personal fondness for these two saints because their lives demonstrate how God can work wonders even with the most unworthy of instruments. This gives me hope.

St. Paul - The Zealot
I have had a devotion to St. Paul since I watched the ABC made-for-TV mini-series Peter and Paul, starring Anthony Hopkins as St. Paul. I have since enjoyed having the opportunity to proclaim St. Paul's writings when I read at Mass. I still imagine Hopkin's portrayal as I prepare to read.

Two things that stand out about St. Paul as an example for us. First, he was a Jewish zealot intent on destroying the early Christians. He was even complicit in the death of St. Stephen. Nevertheless, the LORD forgave Paul and used him as the great Apostle to the Gentiles.

St. Peter - The Fisherman
I also love the portrayal of Peter in The Passion of the Christ. In the opening scene in the garden, Peter, as in the gospels, attacks the soldiers and cuts the ear off of one of them. Peter is portrayed as a strong (he would have to be to be a fisherman) manly man. Later we see him in his humility fall to knees and beg Our Lady for forgiveness because he had denied our Lord. I believe that scene also depicts Peter's manliness.

One other observation I would like to share about St. Peter is about him being a fishermen. It strikes me that wasn't easy work. The men were manly men who probably swore on occasion and dirt under their nails. If you've ever watched the Deadliest Catch, you probably have an idea of what I am talking about. The point I want to make about this is that, God didn't call special people to be His followers. Instead, he called ordinary people to do extraordinary things through Him and with Him.

Video from Apostleship of Prayer

To learn more, I recommend reading EWTN's entries on St. Peter and St. Paul.