Feast of Saints Peter and Paul 2008

Statue of St PaulStatue of St PeterReflection for Feast of Saints Peter and Paul…

A Thought for the day …

Who Do You Say I Am?…

Some recent headlines in the Kenyan media:

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      • Internally displaced living in tents…
      • Attempts to reconcile communities making slow progress…

Interesting… that Paul was a tent maker… that Peter had his own experience of reconciliation.

 Readings for
Solemnity of
Sts Peter & Paul
29 June 2008

Acts 12:1-11
Psalm 33
Timothy 4:6-8,17-18
Matthew 16:13-19

This joint celebration of Saints Peter and Paul honours two that we can easily relate and identify with. Both were very different people from different backgrounds. Both are united not only in their distinct missions but also in their deaths as martyrs.

Peter, the leader, from a fishing background, was considered impetuous and unreliable, yet he was big enough to come back and accept Jesus’ second invitation, this time as leader rather than follower. Peter, “the rock”, stands for solidity, steadfastness and strength.

Paul, a late-comer to Christian belief, was the greatest missionary and a most influential theologian. Considered the dynamic one, he had the courage to move out into the gentile world and he fearlessly gave witness while never giving up the “race”.

Both Peter and Paul were deeply concerned with freedom, true freedom. “For freedom Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1).

Both experienced the good news as bringing freedom to their lives.
Paul had been a zealot for the law until his meeting with Christ set him free from the letter of the law.
Peter’s liberation from prison was a dramatic sign of the inner freedom he had experienced. Having denied Christ three times, Jesus set him free from his guilt and shame and entrusted him with leadership.

Christ recognized in both Peter & Paul their gifts and their limitations – their humanity.

In my humanity and in my freedom I attempt to answer the gospel challenge: “Who do you say I am?”

– Fr James Clesham sma
Nairobi, Kenya