Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, who were key leaders in founding in the early Church. In the First Reading we hear part of Peter’s story, a particularly dramatic narrative about the Lord rescuing Peter from impending trial and probable death. Quite honestly, given the circumstances of his liberation—breaking free from double chains and moving unnoticed past numerous guards in the middle of the night by an angel’s guidance—I can understand why Peter initially thought he was dreaming. And yet, the Lord rescued Peter to be an example of faith and spread the Good News to the people of his time.
In the Second Reading, Paul reflects on his call to live into and spread the faith, from the other side of life, so to speak, as he senses his time on Earth is coming to an end. In his writing to Timothy, Paul says, “I have completed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” Paul speaks of the strength God has given him throughout his life, and then acknowledges he has now done the extent of his faithful work. He leaves his readers with the final certainty that, indeed, God will rescue all who wait on the Lord from Earthly suffering and hurt, bringing us all safely into his Heavenly kingdom.
So then today we pause not only to reflect on Peter and Paul’s works to found the early church, but, moreover, to acknowledge that “the Lord will rescue those who fear him.” May we then go forward to “fight the good fight,” to live assured that we are working for the kingdom of God.
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