Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul
What's the difference between an Apostle and Disciple?
Father David Jones
All apostles are disciples, not all disciples are apostles. When Catholics talk about the Apostles, we are referring to the twelve men Jesus choose, called by name. The word APOSTLES means “one who is sent forth”. Sent not as a simple messenger but as an agent or delegate on a mission. We could call them ambassadors of Christ, but Apostles of Christ makes their role and person most clear.
Disciples are more like students. If we follow Christ, trying to learn from his life how to live our life, then we are Disciples of Christ.
This Sunday the church celebrates the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles. These two Apostles of Christ founded the See of Rome. The SEE of Rome is the CHURCH of ROME head quarters or central office of the church through out the world. We worship and serve in the Church of Chicago, which is not a SEE. A SEE is a SEE because it is founded by an APOSTLE and is formally referred to as an APOSTOLIC SEE.
We celebrate St. Peter as the first Pope, the leader of the disciples, those who believe in and follow Christ. He is buried in the Holy See of Rome on Vatican Hill beneath the St. Peter’s Basilica, hence the name of the basilica.
St. Paul is buried in the See of Rome outside the old walls of the Rome, beneath a church building named the Basilica of St. Paul Outside of the Walls.
Between these two APOSTLES, we have great imagery and history of disciples working together and disciples reaching out to form new disciples.
We work together to build what the Lord founded. The fruit of our labor is found when those we serve become servants of the Lord.
The more the merrier, because as the Lord said, “The harvest is ripe, but the laborers are few.”