This Saturday is the feast day of the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul. God couldn’t have chosen a more diametrically opposed pair than these two men to lead his Church – Peter the rugged fisherman and Paul the learned scholar.
Come to think of it, Jesus’ disciples seemed like a motley crew in general. We know there was friction between Peter and Paul on at least one occasion, but just imagine the arguments that might have taken place between Matthew the tax collector and Simon the Zealot – one a servant of the Roman Empire and the other its sworn enemy. The disciples came to Jesus with their unique personalities, unique life experiences and unique sets of strengths and weaknesses, and Jesus took those men and molded them into a unified body of believers.
When I look at our ministry partners around the world, I see a similar diversity. The priests, sisters and lay missionaries we support come from many different cultures and bring particular skills and strategies to their work. This variety can be a challenge, but it is often an asset. That’s because the best solution to child poverty in rural Haiti, for example, might be very different from the best solution to child poverty in Manila, Philippines.
Just as God called Peter and Paul, he calls us today to find unity in our diversity. We are one faith with many faces, charged to preach and to live one Gospel that transcends culture, language and economic status. Holding those similarities and differences in the right balance is key to the global mission of Cross Catholic Outreach.
– Tony M.