Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles
2 Timothy 4:6-8,17-18
Today we celebrate the Solemn Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. As I look at today’s readings I am humbled by the greatness and holiness of these two giants. The first reading tells the story of Peter being freed from prison by an angel; the original "get out of jail free" card! The second reading is a tribute to the great St. Paul and his willingness to "complete the race to the finish line" in his preaching of the good news. The final gospel reading describes Jesus telling Peter that he is the "rock" upon which the Church will be built. Wow! How can I identify with the courage, selflessness and grace of these two giants? Giants are a hard act to follow!
I am reminded of my childhood reading about the tales of the giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan and Babe, his great blue ox! The closest I have to a great blue ox is Gabriel, my not so great black cat. So how do I handle a reflection on these two great saints and giants of the early Church, Peter and Paul?
Maybe a giant Louisville sunset will help. A couple of evenings ago, a classic Kentucky storm rolled through our area at sunset. When it was over I was sitting and watching the sun go down through the windows. The sun poured through small openings in the clouds and bounced off the leaves of the trees. The green of the leaves glimmered like silver. It was gorgeous in a way only God can provide. I was touched by the sight and the remembrance of how much God loves me. I guess I don’t have to be Saint Peter, Saint Paul or even Paul Bunyan to experience the joy of being loved by God!
God loves me completely, just as I am, without reserve, in a most beautiful, remarkable way; and, like most of us, I’m not even a giant. But I am a child of God; and that’s enough for me and for us all!
Happy Feast Day Saints Peter and Paul!
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D. is a member of our Passionist Family who volunteers at the Passionist Assisted Living Community in Louisville, Kentucky.