Peter and Paul are the two greatest apostles. They were completely different people but shared in the same great love for Jesus who met each of them in very different ways but that was a total meeting that changed their entire lives. One met the living Jesus in his person. We’re not sure how it happened. The synoptic Gospels have one story and John has another. The other met him in the resurrection on the road where he was journeying to violence.
The question is, have we met Jesus? Has he encountered us? How has he changed us? Peter, Luke tells us, was in his boat that he had been in for many years as a fisherman along the lake. Jesus came to him that day and asked to use his boat. He preached from it but what he said that day has not been recorded. Peter, who was in the boat of course, heard him and what he said. And Jesus told him after to take his boat into deeper waters for a catch. And Peter being Peter told him that they had been hard at it all night and caught nothing. But Peter was also willing to follow the instructions of a holy man. He was humble even if he was a bit arrogant. He knew what was what, or at least he thought he did. And then the catch. And Peter, in that great act of surrender, fell at Jesus’s feet and begged him to leave his sinful self. He then knew he was in the presence of the holy and that he was not worthy. He felt Jesus had made a terrible mistake. But Jesus, probably smiling, told him, do not be afraid. From now on you will be fishers of people. And they left everything and followed him.
And Paul, as arrogant and ruthless as could be, was knocked down and blinded by the risen Jesus. “Who are you?” he cried. “Jesus who you persecute.” The rest is, as they say, history.
The point is that Jesus can change us if we will let him. So let us pray to be changed by meeting the risen Savior. Our meeting will be unique to each of us, but like Peter and Paul, it will change everything if we let it. Do not be afraid, says the Lord.