If Peter and Paul are the two most important Apostles, then you have to wonder why Jesus chose either of them. Peter, the “Prince of the Apostles”, is a fisherman whose Galilean accent marks him as a country bumpkin. Peter acts without thinking, regularly over-promises and under-delivers, and in Jesus’ darkest hour denies knowing him.
Paul, the “Apostle to the Gentiles”, is a Pharisee (Remember them? They constantly harassed Jesus and conspired to have him crucified). And while Paul didn’t throw any stones to kill the first Christian martyr (Stephen), he was there and held the coats of the people who did.
If that’s who they are, why choose either of them? A short phrase in the Gospel gives us the answer. It’s the part where Jesus says “I will build my Church”. The most important part is the “I” and who is saying it – it lets us know that Jesus is doing the building. And Jesus’ choice of people like Peter and Paul makes it very clear just who is doing the building. More on Peter and Paul tomorrow.