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.
Saint Barnabas, Apostle
The Beatitudes are Jesus’ charter for the Christian Life. The Beatitudes do not replace the Ten Commandments, but they are revealed to propel us into a life of true blessedness. The rich man leaves Jesus in sadness when he finds himself unable to let go of his wealth, even though he kept all the commandments. He sought perfection, “what must I do to be perfect,” but had an ill-conceived notion of what perfection is. He thought higher perfection would win him more esteem in the eyes of men, he thought perhaps that he was already pretty close to perfection because he avoided grave sin. When Jesus invites him to “go and sell all that you have, give to the poor and then come and follow me and you will have treasure in heaven” He reveals that becoming perfect means becoming truly happy, truly blessed, truly free. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.