Justice Clarence Thomas once share his thoughts about our society in saying that it has been transformed into a society based upon victims rather than heroes. Under the culture of “victimhood,” we are living with the practice of blaming circumstances of one’s situation rather taking responsibility for changing things for the better. In Justice Thomas’s view, today’s culture is exalting victims-individuals who are overcome by the sting of oppression, injustice, adversity, neglect, or misfortune. In contrast, under the “heroic” culture, the success as well as failure is the result of one’s own talents, morals, decisions and actions. Accepting personal responsibility for success and failure is liberating and empowering.
Today is the solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, the two prominent apostles of the early church. Both of them refused to play the “victim card” after their terrible failure. Peter accepts personal responsibility for his betrayal of Christ and transforms his failure into heroic deeds by leading the early Church. Similarly, Paul accepts personal responsibility for his wickedness and moved on to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Above all, God made two of them heroes of the Christian faith because they chose to be heroes.
The feast of St. Peter and Paul is a call for each of us to be heroes who have courage to accomplish and achieve something for the kingdom of God. Like Peter and Paul, we have to be open to God’s plan for our life. Peter and Paul had the humility to recognize their failure and to transform their failure into something glorious for the Kingdom. How do you yearn to do something heroic for God? Whatever your feelings or desires are, share them with the Lord now.