All of us have childhood memories of our favourite dynamic duo – Batman and Robin surely the original (and best!). Perhaps the key thing in any partnership is to have complementary skills and talents and the start of Christianity was no different.
This week in the Gospel readings we have celebrated the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul and we can see that they had very different histories and approaches to the challenges of faith.
Peter (Simon Peter) was one of the original disciples and shows us a very human image of discipleship in all he did. He denies Jesus three times after his arrest, abandoning his faith when it was most needed. He goes on to get the opportunity to experience forgiveness and reconciliation when the risen Christ appears and asks him three times “do you love me?”.
Paul (originally known as Saul) was famous for his vigorous persecution of Christians as a committed Jew. He passionately pursued those in the early Christian church even encouraging and witnessing the stoning and death of Stephen. However, after the “road to Damascus” experience he saw the light and followed Jesus. He applied his passion, personality and commitment to spreading the faith to all, Gentiles and Jews, rich and poor, men and women however unpopular his message may have been as he travelled.
One aspect that binds both Peter and Paul is that they were willing to make real sacrifices for their faith, both ultimately sacrificing their lives for their faith in God. Perhaps we will not be asked to make this ultimate commitment but we can learn from their example in some ways.
On Friday last week we celebrated St. Paul’s day at school. This is a day full of fun, faith and fundraising where students and staff gather as one community to celebrate all that is best as a school and raise money for three charities nominated by students. All well worth supporting in any way we can.
Last year we raised a total of over £10,000 in the school year and we started the new focus on our charities off well on our feast day by raising over £4,400 in one morning alone. For me the money is only part of the story. It is truly an opportunity to live out faith and discipleship in a meaningful way for everyone at our school, especially for the students as they make a commitment to thinking beyond their own immediate needs.
A few thoughts for the week ahead…
- How can we ensure that we use the inspiration of Peter and Paul to help us live out our faith in a meaningful way?
- What can we do to challenge and inspire others to be outreaching in their faith and support those most in need in the world?
- How do we live out a time of celebration and faith each and every day not just once a year?
In essence we are really blessed to be named after St. Paul as a school. He shows a very human discipleship, making mistakes but willing to transform the direction of his life. But perhaps like any dynamic duo both are needed for us to really be on the winning team as we can learn so much from their lives. The ultimate challenge must always be what we do with our faith and how it impacts on our lifestyle and has a positive benefit to all those we meet – you too can be a superhero if we get this right!