Saints Peter and Paul are the two greatest pillars of the Church. Their lives are very different, and this helps us understand from a divine perspective how it takes all kinds – not only of people but also of leaders – to build up the Church. The message of Christ appeals way beyond any narrow segment of humanity, culture, or way of life. We need leaders that lead in very different ways. Let us meditate on the lives of Saints Peter and Paul to grasp how their different styles of leadership bore witness to the Gospel.
Saturday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
There is a famous Jesuit saying, “Pray as if it all depends on God, work as if it all depends on you.” While there is certainly a healthy spirituality reflected in that ideal, it must be understood correctly. We should rather say, “Pray, because it all does depend on God. Work, even though it doesn’t depend on you.” Jesus invites us to cooperate with God’s providence completely free of anxiety and worry. We do what we can, and to the best of our ability, but not because God needs our work. God does not need our help, He does not need us, we cannot cause His master plan to fail by not living up to our potential. Our work is important for us, not for God. Our work is something God invites us to do to increase our happiness and blessedness, not because God needs collaborators. The thought that God’s providence depends upon the effectiveness of my work and effort is completely backwards. It is rather that my work is effective and my efforts well spent because of God’s providence. The spreading of the Gospel is a task so much greater than my own ability to comprehend, that it is actually necessary for me to believe – and thus to pray – before I can begin to perceive the work God is asking of me.