Thirteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time
June 26-27, 2021
This Tuesday the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. These two men could not be more different and yet are intrinsically linked to the foundation of our faith. They are the ‘Odd Couple’ of the early church.
As a young man, Paul was highly educated, trained in the Jewish religion and a respected member of the Pharisees. He was part of the power structure; a man of laws, rules and tradition. On the other hand, Peter was a simple fisherman of limited education. A devout Jew, he did not strive nor was he part of the religious hierarchy.
Yet both men’s lives changed forever after they were touched by Jesus. For Peter, Jesus called him personally as he tended his fishing nets, whereas, Paul experienced Christ in an extraordinary vision. While Paul’s conversion was immediate, Peter’s belief in Christ as God was more gradual.
After each man became a leader of the new Christian community, they led in very different ways. Peter looked first to his fellow Jews to convert, while Paul reached out to the Gentiles. Peter became more discerning while Paul became more combative. Yet both leadership styles proved equally successful in spreading the Gospel.
Both men serve as an example and an inspiration for us, on how to serve the Lord. There is no perfect image of a Christian, but rather, they come in all shapes and sizes. As demonstrated so well by St. Peter and Paul, it is our sincere faith in Jesus Christ that makes us a true follower. Our Lord, who knows our heart, accepts us as we are and uses our own special gifts to bring His love to the world.
Patrick J. Perkins