07.13. 2014. The Impact of Peter and Paul upon the Church of Jesus Christ. By Reverend Andrew C.Smith, Jr.

Good morning Holy Angels:

I have he greatest love and respect for you. I have been blessed by Jesus Christ our Lord to be his servant for five years. I have been blessed, enriched, and filled with the grace of God to be your pastor for two years. I thank God for Holy Angels! I thank God for your prayers! I thank God for your faith!

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The impact of Peter and Paul upon the Church of Jesus Christ cannot be overstated. In today's first reading from the Acts of the Apostles we learn that King Herod had James killed by the sword. He then had Peter put in prison under guard of four squards of four soldiers each. King Herod had planned a similar fate for Peter, but God intervened.

The scripture says, “On the very night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter secured by double chains, was sleeping between two soldiers, while outside the door guards kept watch on the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shone in the cell. He tapped Peter on the side and awakened him, saying “get up quickly.” The chains fell from is wrists...(Acts 12:6-8)

Peter was freed by and angel of the Lord in prision.

Peter was an outstanding preacher of the Good News of Jesus Christ. He was the leader of the early Christian community in Jerusalem.

Light is the sign of God's presence in the Bible. A light shone in the cell for Peter, and at Paul's conversion a light from the sky flashed upon him. In today's second reading, Paul tells us that he has kept the faith and that the Lord stood by him to give him strength. (2 Timothy 4:7) Paul's focus is on being with the Lord.

In today's gospel, Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do the people say the Son of Man is?”

He wants to know-what's the word on the street about me?

Everyone had an opinion about Jesus. If you would to to the market, people would be talking about Jesus. If you went to the Temple, you would hear heated discussions about the wandering rabbi from Galilee. In fact, the religious leaders had decided that He was a demon-possessed (Matthew 3:22). They said he was a drunkard, a glutton, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.

The disciples said, “some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one the the prophets” but Jesus said “who do you day that I am”? (Matthew 13:14-16) Peter responded say that Jesus is the Son of the Living God!

This gospel teahces us that our discovery of Jesus Christ must be a personal discovery. Our knowledge of Jesus must never be second hand. Jesus is asking us today, “Who do you say that I am?”

Christ's peace,

Fr. Drew