In honor of their martyrdom in Rome, the liturgical calendar includes the Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul for June 29th. Loyola Press has a wonderful, concrete article that explains further about Peter, Paul and their ministries. We are grateful to them for their contributions in the Bible and their dedication to follow God despite the suffering they endured.
In times of uncertainty, anxiety and fear, I often turn to Philippians 4:6 (NIV) which says:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
It grounds me to remember that there is power in prayer, that I can be thankful in all situations (Paul refers to this in 1 Thess 5:18) and that God hears my requests! What joy is found in that fact alone, the God of all creation cares to listen to my requests. I am thankful that Paul has recorded this and many other scriptures for meditating on.
Peter has an interesting relationship with Jesus. He is the one who Jesus invited to follow him, even to the point of walking on water. Matthew 14:22-36 (NIV) has the full story, but I have provided verses 25-33 below:
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
This story helps me to realize that my faith is just the same. I see the invitation, I attempt to follow, get scared, Jesus tells me not to be afraid but just fix my eyes on him. Sounds simple… but I know that in times of uncertainty, my mind runs straight to doubt. I grow weary and focus more on the storm, the wind, the waves, not Jesus, whose eyes are waiting to meet my gaze. He has the power to calm the storms and raging seas around me and even the fear and weariness in my heart and mind. I am thankful for this example in Peter’s life.
To celebrate them, Sheila Hamil has graciously shared these videos below with us to commemorate these saints. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have!
“If I Have Not Love” (1 Corinthians 13)
“Feed My Lambs”
For more videos by Sheila Hamil, check out her YouTube channel.