Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

Today the Church celebrates the solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul. What a power packed week of saints and solemnities! Apostles and Fathers of the Church and the main writers of the NT! From St Anthony Messenger:

"St. Mark ends the first half of his Gospel with a triumphant climax. He has recorded doubt, misunderstanding and the opposition of many to Jesus. Now Peter makes his great confession of faith: "You are the Messiah" (Mark 8:29b). It was one of the many glorious moments in Peter's life, beginning with the day he was called from his nets along the Sea of Galilee to become a fisher of men for Jesus.

The New Testament clearly shows Peter as the leader of the apostles, chosen by Jesus to have a special relationship with him. With James and John he was privileged to witness the Transfiguration, the raising of a dead child to life and the agony in Gethsemane. His mother-in-law was cured by Jesus. He was sent with John to prepare for the last Passover before Jesus' death. His name is first on every list of apostles.

And to Peter only did Jesus say, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the nether world shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" (Matthew 16:17b-19).

But the Gospels prove their own veracity by the unflattering details they include about Peter. He clearly had no public relations person. It is a great comfort for ordinary mortals to know that Peter also has his human weakness, even in the presence of Jesus.

He generously gave up all things, yet he can ask in childish self-regard, "What are we going to get for all this?" (see Matthew 19:27). He receives the full force of Christ's anger when he objects to the idea of a suffering Messiah: "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do" (Matthew 16:23b).

Peter is willing to accept Jesus' doctrine of forgiveness, but suggests a limit of seven times. He walks on the water in faith, but sinks in doubt. He refuses to let Jesus wash his feet, then wants his whole body cleansed. He swears at the Last Supper that he will never deny Jesus, and then swears to a servant maid that he has never known the man. He loyally resists the first attempt to arrest Jesus by cutting off Malchus's ear, but in the end he runs away with the others. In the depth of his sorrow, Jesus looks on him and forgives him, and he goes out and sheds bitter tears."

Go to St Anthony's Messenger to read about St. Paul as well.

One of the things I love about the Catholic Church is the way she continues to remind those living now (Church Militant) of the heroic lives of faith of those who have gone before us (Church Triumphant). The priest celebrates the Mass on these special days wearing a bright red cassock, representing blood, to remind us that the price of following Christ is often martyrdom, as it was for Peter and Paul. Even more amazing is to me is the knowledge that this great cloud of witnesses continues to intercede for us before the throne of God.


Anonymous Theo said...

Tiber Jumper wrote in part:
"...It is a great comfort for ordinary mortals to know that Peter also has his human weakness, even in the presence of Jesus."

Excellent post TJ!
How glorious and at the same time humbling that the infinite God entrusts his Church (those he calls out) to the leadership of mere men. Peter, the archetypical first among equals, did not hide his limitations. How humbly his writings acknowledge the scholarship of St. Paul. Truly, he followed the model St. Paul encouraged all Christians to follow: "Let your attitude be that of Christ." Jesus did not grasp at the status his divine nature and right afforded him; rather, he humbled himself and became obedient even unto crucifixion. As our bishops imitate Ss. Peter and Paul as they imitated Christ, let us pray that their vocations be blessed with grace and wisdom.

May all that we do honor the amazing, eternal God.


June 29, 2007 11:14 AM  
Blogger Tiber Jumper said...

Dear Theo, the print in brown is from anthony messenger, not ME but thanks for the compliments!~

June 29, 2007 4:24 PM  
Blogger Joyful Catholics said...

I love it, too, that the priests wear different colors and keep remembering that was a big part of what Donut Man says. It's all so great isn't it?

June 30, 2007 2:37 PM  

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