Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Year A

Theme: Soldiers for Christ

Today the church celebrates the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, two great men of our faith. The contributions of these great men to Christianity cannot be taken for granted. At different times in their journey of faith they had to put their lives on the line, just to continue to promote the good news of the kingdom of God. They did not allow the intimidations they encountered from the leaders of the people to stop them from preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. This is clearly seen in the way they were martyred at the end of their earthly mission; their blood was shed for their faith.

The 1st reading from the Acts of the Apostles, presents to us one of the challenges that Peter encountered in the hands of King Herod, the plan was to do away with him. But because the time has not yet come, the Lord sent an angel to visit him in prison and set him free. One thing that is very clear is that, whenever we go through challenges and difficulties in our lives because of our call to discipleship, never think you are on your own because God is always with you. If the time is not right for you to return to him, he will always have a way to set you free. This is to tell us that there is no point in our journey of faith that we are on our own, God will never desert you, he will always be by your side.

My brothers and sisters in Christ, another thing that is worthy of note, is the fact that God does not go in search of the perfect, rather he chooses the weak and make them strong for his mission. We all know the story of how Peter denied him when it mattered most. But it is the same Peter that he handed over the church. This simply shows that the ways of God are different from our human ways.

In the 2nd reading of today, we see the assertion of a fulfilled man. St. Paul was happy about the work he has done for the good of the kingdom of God, and that is why he is confidently saying that he is waiting to be crowned with the crown of unfading glory. He encountered Christ on his way to Damascus, to continue his persecution of Christians and his life never remained the same. After his conversion, he gave everything to promote the good news of the kingdom of God. He encountered a lot of difficulties and challenges in his ministry, but he continued to move from place to place preaching the good news of Christ. He is referred to as the Apostle of the Gentiles because of his missionary endeavors and writings to the different churches he visited. He was a great missionary, whose zeal and faith are worthy of emulation by all Christians in our own time. Through the intercessions of saints Peter and Paul, may almighty God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

SS Peter and Paul solemnity, year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp