Some, because they seek to serve God by going to church and living a moral life, expect that life will be smooth and
problem free. They also seem to expect that the Church itself will be a place where everyone gets along, there are not problems, and everyone has everyone else's best interests at heart.
While those are nice thoughts, they are not realistic ones. Experience teaches quite a different lesson. Bad things do happen to good people with at least the same frequency as they do to those who have God far from the center of their lives. And as a Church, we've been tossed about recently by storms of scandal, apparent attempts at cover-ups, various other controversies and more than a few heated disagreements on parish, diocesan, national, and international levels.
Without minimizing these current situations, history reveals that such trials are not new to the Church. From its beginning it faced opposition from without and has been wounded from within.
And yet, somehow this institution not only continues to survive but even flourishes. This cannot be attributed to the strength and holiness of its members. No, it results from the fact that Jesus is the real foundation of the Church. Jesus is the one who gave Peter the commission to care for the sheep and the lambs and assures the Church of protection. Jesus is the one who confronted Paul on the road to Damascus, calling him to bring the Gospel to the wider world outside Judaism. While the Church may have been built on the rock of Peter and spread by Paul, it is the Church of Jesus Christ.
Today we celebrate the faith of these two great early heroes of our faith, who were also sinners like us all. Initially both were found lacking; one, by denying Christ; the other, by persecuting His Church. But, each repented, was forgiven, and then lived with total commitment to Christ and the Church even to a martyr's death.
We learn from them valuable lessons for our own lives and times: Struggles and sufferings will always be a part of the life of the Church; and, each of us will face times of sinful failure, have a need for conversion, and can trust in the Lord's mercy and willingness to call us over and over again to faithful discipleship.
-Fr Sas, June 29 Homily
Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles, Year A