weekly prayer

In 2019, Pope Francis said that Saints Peter and Paul are both witnesses to the transformative power of God’s forgiveness through which all Christians can experience a new beginning of peace and joy.
“Only when we experience God’s forgiveness do we truly experience rebirth. From there we start over, from forgiveness; there we rediscover who we really are: in the confession of our sins,”
 
Jesus chose ordinary people to hand on the Christian faith  - there are no ‘perfect’ people - we all have our flaws and weaknesses,
“Peter denied the Lord, while Paul persecuted the Church of God,” Francis said. “Jesus called them by name and changed their lives.”
 but it is when we recognise this and turn to God for help and for forgiveness, we too can be transformed.”
 
Pope Francis said that the Lord’s forgiveness was the secret that enabled Saints Peter and Paul to persevere in their mission despite their weaknesses.
 
“Having met Jesus and experienced his forgiveness, the Apostles bore witness to him by living a new life: they no longer held back, but gave themselves over completely,” he said. “They were no longer content with half-measures, but embraced the only measure possible for those who follow Jesus: that of boundless love.”
 
“Both understood that holiness does not consist in exalting but rather in humbling oneself,” he explained.
 
In his homily, Pope Francis stressed the importance of a personal encounter with Jesus. 
 
He said “We may be curious about Jesus, or interested in Church matters or religious news. We may open computer sites and the papers, and talk about holy things, but this remains at the level of what people are saying …..Jesus does not care about polls, past history or statistics. He is not looking for religion editors, much less ‘front page’ or ‘statistical’ Christians. He is looking for witnesses who say to him each day: ‘Lord, you are my life.’”
 
He went on to say,-
 
“Let us ask for the grace not to be lukewarm Christians living by half measures, allowing our love to grow cold,” he said. “Let us rediscover who we truly are through a daily relationship with Jesus and through the power of his forgiveness.”
 
I think that these words are of interest to all who hold positions of leadership and instruction in the Christian faith. Just like Peter and Paul, we are not perfect; we all have our weaknesses and flaws; but if we have  a personal relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit and we look to the role models of Peter and Paul, the shared wisdom of the Scriptures and all the Saints for whom the faith was not lip- service, but lived service, then we will never be lukewarm, half-measure Christians.