By Mel Jasmin
On June 29, the Church will celebrate the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. A hymn from the Orthros for June 30 says about the Apostles: “You preached throughout the entire world that the eternal all-holy Trinity is in nature God.”
The ministry of the Apostles, those who were sent forth by the Lord and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, took the Gospel to the corners of the then-known world. For example, Saint Paul, although not one of the original twelve, took the Gospel to the Gentile world of Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome. Saint Peter also traveled to Rome. Saint Thomas, tradition holds, traveled to India. Saint Andrew traveled to Greece and, as tradition holds, established the Church in the city of Byzantium, which would later be renamed Constantinople, the See of our Ecumenical Patriarchate. In those places and others, the Apostles preached the Gospel and taught and guided the Christians.
The feast of Saints Peter and Paul and the Holy Apostles, should inspire us to reclaim our missionary zeal with the aim of bringing people to Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church, those outside the Church, and those who have drifted away. We should be concerned about the growing indifference that many people show toward their Faith and their Church. We should be concerned that after three months of comfortably watching services online that people may take their time to return to their parishes. This then becomes our challenge: to bear witness to the love of God, to show our care for all people in all dimensions of their lives, by being active in the world and sharing our many gifts with as many as we can.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us!