Solemnity of SS Peter and Paul
Acts 12: 1-11
2 Timothy 4: 6-8, 17-18
Matthew 16: 13-19
Today we celebrate the solemnity of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul – the two apostles that led the proclamation of the Good News to the Jewish and Gentile communities. Like us, both had chequered histories with moments of doubt, despair and rejection of knowing Jesus.
But where would we be without these two vibrant apostles of Christ? They brought energy and life to their missionary journeys that saw them build up the kingdom of Heaven. They both fought the good fight to the end; both ran the race to the finish and kept the faith. Jesus had faith in them, despite their failures, to become great leaders.
In today’s readings, we reflect on how the angel of the Lord released Peter from his prison cell, despite the heavy guard all around him and his chains that bound him. What was the end of the road for Peter became a moment of freedom. What seemed like a dream was in fact, very real. This freedom from his persecutors enabled him to continue the work that God still had installed for him. Paul, too faced imprisonment on several occasions and was ‘saved from the lion’s mouth’. In the gospel, Peter’s profession of Jesus’ divinity as the Son of the living God earnt him the gift of the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. He may well not have understood the full meaning of this gift but he still accepted what Jesus was offering him.
So who is your angel that sets you free from the bonds that tie you down; who brings you relief when all is lost and says the right words just when you need them? And are you an angel to those who need you in times of trial?
Victoria Raw is parishioner of Te Whetu O Te Moana, Star of the Sea Marlborough, NZ and is active in lay ministry.