The Acts of the Apostles is not about the Twelve Apostles. It is primarily about two apostles: Peter and Paul.
Just one example can be seen in how Peter is miraculously delivered from prison in Chapter 12 and the same happens to Paul in Chapter 16. What is Luke trying to do by writing the Acts of the Two Apostles and why does the Church celebrate these two Saints together?
The beginning of the Acts of the Apostles gives us an idea of what the whole book is all about and helps us answer the question of why Peter and Paul are the principle subjects. Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he said to his apostles, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Peter preaches in Jerusalem and throughout Judea and Samaria. The book of Acts ends with Paul traveling to Rome, the ends of the earth at that time.
Jesus wants us to be one family, Jews and Gentiles. Peter and Paul help us remember our vast family story. The Jews were chosen to be the witnesses to the world. In Peter’s preaching, we see how God was faithful. The Gentiles were always meant to be brought into relationship with the Living God. In Paul’s preaching, we see how God was faithful.
God is faithful. That is Archbishop Aymond’s episcopal motto and it reminds us that God’s plans our vast and yet personal. God can do great things to heal the vast human family and he can even use two weak and sinful men like Peter and Paul. God can do great things with us who are also weak and sinful. Peter was crucified upside down and Paul was beheaded. That was how they finished the race but they prepared for that sacrifice with smaller ones.
We offer our own specific sacrifices today into the arms of a God who is faithful for the healing of our personal families and our vast human family.