Sts Peter and Paul


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


Today is the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul – the two apostles that took the Good News to the Jewish and Gentile communities. Jesus chose them to be part of his closest followers despite both persecuting and denying him very publically. And yet their chequered histories of doubt, despair and rejection of knowing Jesus were not their defining points. Jesus saw beyond their human frailties to their future leadership roles for the communities that they would serve.

In the 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 seemed like a dream was in fact real.  This freedom from his persecutors enabled him to continue the work that God still had install for him. Paul too faced imprisonment on several occasions but was ‘saved from the lion’s mouth’. In the gospel, Peter’s profession of Jesus being the Christ and the Son of the living God earnt him the new responsibility for taking on the keys of the kingdom of Heaven. He did not understand the meaning of this but he still accepted what Jesus was offering him. This is beautifully portrayed in season 4, episode 2 of The Chosen ( Caesarea Philippi was the centre of the pagan worship of Baal and Pan and was filled with idolatry and death. Thus, Peter’s words become even more striking when he proclaims Jesus as the living God.

Peter and Paul are two sides of the same coin. Both are very different but both are essential in the spreading of the Good News. We too are called by Jesus to be missionary disciples in the places that we live and work. Pray to them today to guide you in your missionary journey

Victoria Raw is parishioner of Te Whetu O Te Moana, Star of the Sea Marlborough, NZ and is active in lay ministry.