Whenever we consider the very beginning of our Church, its preaching, teaching, and evangelization, we cannot help but consider the two great Apostles - Peter and Paul. Peter's profession as is found in Matthew's Gospel, "You are the Christ," and the extensive missionary activity of Paul, continues to inspire and encourage the Church today. More so, it is evident of the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of these two men, and in that early Church.
Again and again we come to recognize how God can and does do wonderful things using very basic instruments. Peter at times could come off as self-righteous, seeming to know what was best for the mission and ministry of Jesus. Peter's three fold denial brought him shame, especially after he adamantly pronounced that he would stand by him. And Paul, so caught up in a limited vision of the word of God, could not imagine God unfolding a new chapter of salvation for His people. He set out, with good intentions mind you, persecuting that early Christian community.
The words and works of these outstanding Apostles reminds us that doing Christianity is a daunting task. Sometimes we act as 'nabobs,' and get it wrong. At other times we end up standing against sin and evil, very much by ourselves. As both Peter and Paul came to understand the cross plays a major facet in the Christian life. In very real ways the Apostles suffered while and in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Discipleship requires that we continue to ask the very basic questions of our life. Why did God create us? Why are we here? Who do we say Jesus is? In pondering these inquiries with our hearts, we begin to draw close the one who has all of the answers. When like Peter and Paul we allow the power of the Spirit and integrity of the Gospel to be our guide and guardian, we are made strong. This of course does not mean we will not have pain and suffering; but we will have the courage to witness the mystery of faith. Jesus calls to us, "Come follow me."