It has been a while since I contemplate Saint Peter and Saint Paul in a special way from the Shalom Vocation. This knowledment helps me to understand more about my mission and to desire to be like those apostles who loved God above all things, announcing Jesus Christ to the men.
Well, the knowledge is simple: for me, Saint Peter is an example of Life Community and Saint Paul an example of Covenant Community. This is because the Life Community, like Peter, has a strong nuclear characteristic, which centralizes a specific grace given by God, and the Covenant Community, like Saint Paul, has the overflow of this great grace.
In the lands where Peter cannot be present, Paul managed to arrive to announce the Gospel of Jesus. Likewise, in the evangelizing mission of the Shalom Vocation, there are places that only the Covenant Community can reach, and this is also a God-given grace. However, it is worth noting that this text is just a sharing of an understanding given by God in prayer.
Looking at the saints who are pillars of the Church, from the forms of life in the Shalom Vocation, fills my heart with joy, as it is very beautiful to recognize in this dimension also an expression of the care and love of God when drawing the Charism.
On this day, I would like to share three aspects of the life of Saint Paul that are real tips for living better the announcement of the Good News in today’s world as a Covenant Community.
1 – Being on a mission
Since his conversion, Paul has had his life transformed. Shortly after being healed of the vision, the apostle went to live with the disciples and shortly afterwards he left to announce the Gospel. He was aware of his call and so he wasted no time, he took every opportunity to speak about Jesus, but, above all, to share his experience with Christ in synagogues, in houses, in communities.
This mentality of permanent mission places us in the dynamic of Jesus: the constant departure from oneself to love.
2 – The exercise of the craft
Paul have been in many places. In some of them, even though he was welcomed by the brothers in the faith, he did not fail to exercise his craft, making tents.
It is interesting because Paul managed to reconcile work and mission, making one reality permeate the other. For the Covenant Community, this aspect of the apostle’s life is a real stimulus to be in the most diverse environments (colleges, companies, schools …), being aware that the work is part of the particular mission that God has entrusted.
3 – Mercy in the history
Paul did not hide his story. He didn’t hid it under the rug. He recognized the election of God even in the midst of everything he did to Christians. The apostle was able to see God’s mercy in his life. And that was liberating, it made his evangelization gain speed.
The mistakes of the past could not stop the speed of grace in the new life. How did he manage to live this? For absolute trust in divine mercy. Only mercy can explain the election of God in the life of a consecrated person.
There are many teachings of Saint Peter and Saint Paul for all Christians. With their lives, they knew how to love God and their brothers in a new way, led by the Holy Spirit. I am sure that both of them have much more to teach for both the Life Community and the Covenant Community.
The sharing I make here is just a water drop in the ocean of God’s wisdom for the Church and the Community.
Which on this day when the Church celebrates the conversion of St. Paul, we can plead the grace to announce the Good News of Christ with boldness, radicalism, reaching His mercy to the ends of the earth, as this Apostle did!
Translation: Beatriz Duarte