Today is the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Neither of them really got it initially. St Peter fell asleep while Jesus was suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and then denied his knowledge and following of Christ three times; not exactly the most faithful friend. St. Paul was so busy persecuting Christians, God had to knock him off his horse to get his attention. Neither was a likely candidate for sainthood, but once they got it, they really got it.
In the readings today, both St. Peter and St. Paul rejoice in God’s rescue of them. God’s rescue of St. Peter was so dramatic that Peter thought it all was a dream until the angel left him and he was outside of the prison. St Paul writes of an equally dramatic rescue from the lion’s mouth by the Lord.
I generally feel as though I am much like St. Peter and St. Paul. Like St. Peter, sometimes my head gets it, but my will is more willy-nilly when things get tough. Though I have never physically persecuted anyone, I am like Paul when I verbally persecute by gossiping or thinking or saying unkind things. The big lesson from these readings is not so much what we “don’t get;” it is God’s willingness to rescue us in spite of our foul-ups. Just like God rescued St. Peter and St. Paul, he is always looking out for us and willing to rescue us so that we also may take refuge in Him.
The words of the psalm express how we can follow their example:
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