The Romans with the Jewish religious leaders crucified Jesus Christ. They thought that executing Him in this scandalous way, it would be the end of Jesus’ story. And the Roman and Jewish leaders continue to torture and kill Jesus’ followers in their futile attempt to stop out the work of the Holy Spirit. It did not work then and it will not work now. God and good always win in the long run.
St. Peter was one of the first four disciples of Jesus. Because of his profession of faith, that Jesus was Christ, the Son of The Living God, he was made the Rock on which Jesus built His Catholic Church. “Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; andupon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16: 16 – 18.
St. Peter was an ordinary fisherman and a coward too. When Jesus was arrested and being unfairly tried, he denied being one of his disciples. But, after the death and resurrection of Jesus and the coming of the Holy Spirit, Peter became a bold preacher of the truth that he had experienced in the three years he had lived with Jesus.
He boldly corrected the Jews for having rejected and crucified their Savior, Jesus Christ. He told them to repent of their sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus. Thousands of Jews were converted and became christians. Everywhere he went, he performed great miracles in the Name of Jesus.
In his two letters, St. Peter wrote about his personal experiences; up on Mount Tabor where he saw with his own eyes Jesus glorified in light, the death, resurrection and ascension, that he personally witnessed.
Eventually he went into the heart of the Roman Empire, Rome, where he directed the new Church. Here, he was crucified, head down, as Jesus had prophetized when he told him that in his old age, he would be lead to where he would not want to go; “signifying by what death he should glorify God”. John 21:19.
St. Peter and St. Paul were both martyred on the same day, June 29th in Rome. Both used their lives to preach the holy Gospel of Jesus Christ. Both laid down their lives for Him too. They were the two seeds planted in Rome that gave root to the new tree that would grow. From these two tiny seeds, the whole Roman Empire would be converted. “Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal.” John 12: 24-25. From Rome, the Catholic faith grew to what it is now, 1.2 Billion people all over the world.
Each one of us are just very ordinary people who have less than ordinary faith. But Jesus began His Kingdom, His Church, with only 12 ordinary men called Apostles. One of them, Judas, even worked against Jesus’ plan of salvation. St. Paul is added to the list of the 12 Apostles, (even though officially St. Mathias was chosen by drawing lots to replace Judas Iscariot).
There really is no limit to what God can do through ordinary people like ourselves. The power of God continues to work in spite of the opposition of the great “new” Roman Empire in the world and people like Judas Iscariot in the Church. Things have not changed. But God’s ways will not change either. His powerful force can not be stopped.
Our obligation is only to allow the Holy Spirit to transform us into Jesus’ apostles and disciples. In prayer, we can ask for the faith of the Apostles and power of Jesus’ resurrection to continue to work great miracles through us. Faith, prayer, love and traditional Catholic on.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.