Could two more different men than Peter and Paul possibly be found? Yes, they were both Jewish males, born in the same decade. But any similarity ends there.
Paul was bookish; Peter was a man of the sea. Paul was a city-slicker, cosmopolitan, a Roman citizen; Peter came from the quiet seaside hills. If it weren’t for Christ, Peter probably never in his life would have left the shores of the Sea of Galilee. If it weren’t for Christ, Paul probably would never in his life have spoken with a single Galilean.
What brought Saints Peter and Paul together?
First: both Peter and Paul received the gift of divine faith. St. Peter declared that Christ is the Son of the living God. St. Paul declared that Jesus is Lord by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Second: both of the holy Apostles received a mission. They both knew that the Lord had a plan for them that involved helping other people get to heaven.
Having received faith and a mission, these two completely different men each proceeded to live long, hard lives of non-stop adventure. Neither of them knew from day to day where the good Lord would lead them next.
When Peter and Paul first met in Jerusalem, could either of them have known that a couple decades later they would both be martyred fourteen hundred miles away in Rome? No. All they knew was that the Savior of the world was guiding them daily. Their job was simply to do everything they could.
So they did. They preached the Gospel. They conferred the sacraments. They founded churches all over the world. Between them, they wrote or dictated the better part of the New Testament. Then they sealed it all with the shedding of their blood in the great city to which all roads lead.
Dear reader, perhaps our confederation is as unlikely as Peter’s and Paul’s.
We know that Christ is God. We know that He wills the salvation of all mankind. We know that we have something to do to participate, some small but crucial role to play.
Like the ancient wayfarers of the Mediterranean, we do not know what tomorrow will bring. Perhaps another Nero will arise, and a ruthless persecution will lead to beheadings or upside-down crucifixions by which we will be able to glorify God. Who knows? The future is in God’s hands.
Our job is to do what Saints Peter and Paul did: Stay close to Christ, humbly seek His will, beg for His help, and do what He commands. The Apostles did no more and no less than this. May their prayers help us to follow them to the Holy City on high.
One thought on “Very Unlikely Confederates”
Indeed, Paul changed but little in character, but greatly in direction, from a Jew who persecuted Christ to a Christian who spread his name over much of Asia Minor.
Peter changed magnificantly from an impetuous fisherman who denied Christ; but, when filled with the Holy Spirit, became a fisher of men, with the calm assurity of absolute faith.
As is frequently so, God mystifies us by choosing two totally different vessels to accomplish the tasks He wishes. Together, in less than 100 years from the birth of Christ, they, Peter & Paul changed the World.
Wouldn’t you like to have an hour of their time?