Throughout the year our Church celebrates the lives of men and women who have made a difference in the life of the Church as well as in their own lives. Too often we simply say to ourselves, "Just another feast day!" That phrase can said another way: "The Church's efforts in honoring the saint(s) of the day does not mean that much to me or to us today."
Honoring Peter and Paul today we are reminded that these early "First Fathers of our Church were called to endure difficult days, periods of imprisonment because they were not afraid or ashamed to speak out, to profess their belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Each of the saints, it seems, was an individual who had experienced the compassion of the man who was perfect. Isn't the person who has acknowledge his or her failures so much the stronger? These saints realized their lives were different because the man Jesus, the Risen Christ, had suffered and died simply to remove the burden of guilt in their lives and to atone to the Father for them. They believed that they were empowered by the redemption that God had given them because of his Son. So powerful was this realization they they could not be silent. Praised be Jesus Christ! This was the mission that took over their lives when, in their minds and hearts, they unlocked the gift of this awareness. In realize their human weakness, a new strength, a new purpose formed their future days.
Like Peter and Paul, you and I, we may come to realize that we have been imprisoned by an addition to a favorite sin be it a minor or major failure in our lives. That very addition usually becomes the reality that impedes our being the apostle we were called to be in and through our baptism. Just as Peter and Paul were born again with new powers of preaching and teaching, so, too, are we set free from what shackles us from being the power, the spirit of redemption, that God wants of us. Acknowledging our sinfulness, our status as sinners, empowers us. Such an action should not put us in shackles. Believing that Jesus Christ is our Savior, we, like Peter and Paul, should become women and men who are charged with the wonder and excitement of the gospel of Jesus Christ.