Ah, Saints Peter and Paul. It’s not surprising and yet it’s very surprising that we should celebrate these two great giants of the church in one feast. Peter–chosen leader of the early +church and converted Paul–the heart of gathered community; It takes both aspects of these two lives to give us a complete picture. And, just as today, we struggle to bring together head and heart, law and Spirit, so, too, did Peter and Paul and their communities have the same struggles.
Time has given us greater vision and understanding, but not acceptance and we continue to brood. We argue instead of dialogue; we accuse instead of accept; we deny admittance instead of drawing all into the midst of community; we call ourselves Christian yet we fail to live as true followers of the Jesus of the Gospels. When will we ever learn that there is room for all of us and that each of us has a place within the body of Christ.
It gives me hope to know that both Peter and Paul—beloved and chosen—failed miserably in their early calls, and both of them had great conversion stories for us to emulate and follow. My question for today is, “Do I have the courage and am I willing to pay the price of following in the footsteps of Jesus –to pay the price to truly live my call, my vocation, my Christianity?” That is the question for my/our lectio today and this week.
Saints Peter and Paul pray for us and for our conversion.
Marilyn Carpenter, OSB