Today is the feast of St Peter and St Paul; two Apostles and two martyrs. In different ways they were used by God to guide and shape the Early Church.

The reading from the Saints today was by St Augustine. I was struck by this part of the passage:

The blessed Peter, the first of the Apostles, the ardent lover of Christ, who was found worthy to hear, “And I say to you, that you are Peter” (Matthew 16:13-20). He himself, you see, had just said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Christ said to him, “And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.” Upon this rock I will build the faith you have just confessed. Upon your words, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” I will build my Church.

It is Peter’s statement of faith that brings about Jesus’ response. Peter utters this because it has been revealed to him by God but he takes the step of faith and speaks that which has been shown to him.

In his letter to the Galatians, St Paul is concerned with the freedom that comes from faith in God. In his commentary on this letter St Augustine writes:

“Now Christ is formed in a believer through faith implanted in his inmost soul. Such one, gentle and lowly of heart, is summoned to the freedom of grace, and he does not boast of merit of works, which are of no value. …. Christ, then is formed in him who accepts his form; and he receives the form of Christ, who cleaves to Christ with spiritual love.

This made me think of those in the Gospel reading for this Sunday, Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage. Both act on their faith in Jesus, one asking for Christ’s help for his daughter, the other touching the hem of Jesus’ cloak. In both these, the healing work in done by God but it takes the act of faith for God to touch these lives.

St Peter and St Paul, two men who loved Christ and were given a faith, which they proclaimed. They co-operated with God in his work in them and in his Church.