Feasts of Saint’s Peter & Paul –Image Courtesy: Vatican
(Franciscan Media) Saint Peter (Martyred/Crucified Head Down in 64 at Italy Rome) — Saint Mark (Feast Day: 25 April) ends the first half of his Gospel with a triumphant climax–he’s recorded doubt, opposition and misunderstanding (Peter’s Declaration About Jesus: Mark 8:27-29 of many who that Jesus was. Now St. Peter, makes his great confession of faith: “You are the Christ.” —Mark 8:29
This was one of the many glorious moments in St. Peter’s life, beginning with the day that he was called from his fishing nets along the Sea of Galilee to become a ‘Fisher of Men’ for Jesus. —Matthew 4:18-20
The New Testament clearly shows St. Peter as the leader of the apostles chosen by Jesus to have a special relationship with him. — With St.James (Feast Day: 25 July) and St. John (Feast Day: 27 December) he (St. Peter) was privileged to witness the transfiguration, the raising of the daughter of Jarius to life and the agony of Gethsemane — His Mother-in-Law was cured by Jesus, he was sent with St. John, to prepare the last Pesach Seder (Passover meal) before Jesus’ death and his name is first on every list of apostles.
To Peter only did Jesus say:
“Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jona — For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you but my Father who is in Heaven and I tell you, you are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.” —Matthew 16:17-19
The Gospels prove their own trustworthiness by the unflattering details they include about St. Peter, he clearly was no public-relations person, it is great comfort for us to know that St. Peter also has his human weaknesses, even in the presence of Jesus.
St. Peter generously gave up all things, yet he can ask in childlike self-regard–what are we going to get for all this: “Lo, we have left everything and followed you, what then shall we have?” —Matthew 19:27
With this, St. Peter received the full force of Jesus’ anger when he objects to the idea of the Suffering Messiah must go to Jerusalem –Foretelling of His Death: ‘Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan. You are a hindrance to me; For you are not on the side of God but of men.” —Matthew 16:23
St. Peter was willing to accept Jesus’ doctrine of forgiveness but suggested a limit of seven times:
- Peter walked on the water of faith but sinks in doubt;
- Peter refuses to let Jesus wash his feet;
- Then wants his whole body cleansed;
- Peter vowed at ‘The Last Supper’ that he would never deny Jesus;
- Peter then swears to a Servant Maid that he’s never known Jesus;
- Peter loyally resists the first attempt to arrest Jesus by cutting off Malchus’ ear;
- Peter in the end, runs away with the others.
In the depth of sorrow, Jesus looks on him and forgave him and he goes out and sheds bitter tears. — The Risen Jesus Christ, told Peter to feed His lambs and His sheep. —John 21:15-17
Saint Paul (Martyred/Beheaded in 65 at Italy Rome) — If the most well known Minister today suddenly began preaching that the United States should adopt Marxism and not rely on the Constitution, the angry reaction would help us to understand St. Paul’s life when he began ministering that Jesus alone can save us.
Paul had been the most Pharisaic (self-righteous; obsessiveness) of Pharisees, the most legalistic of Torah Lawyers and now he suddenly appears to other Jews as a heretical welcomer of Gentiles, a traitor and apostate. — Paul’s central conviction was simple and absolute:
Only God can save humanity. No human effort, even the most strict observance of the Torah, can create a human good which he can bring to God as reparation of sin and payment for grace. To be saved from sin, from Satan, the fires of Hell, from eternal separation of God and death, humanity must open itself completely to the saving power of Jesus.
Paul never lost his love for his family, though he carried a lifelong debate with them about the usefulness of the Torah without Jesus Christ. St. Paul, reminded the Gentiles that they were grafted on the parent stock of their Jewish brethren, who remained God’s ‘chosen people’ the children and ancestors of the promise.
More here from American Catholic and here from EWTN