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Saint Stories: St. Peter

Saint Stories: St. Peter

In the Gospel of Luke, we learn that Peter's brother Andrew introduces him to Jesus through his following of John the Baptist. While fishing in the Sea of Galilee, Jesus draws near to Peter and Andrew. Instructing them to cast their net into the ocean, Peter complies and is astonished as he hauls in a day's worth of fish in a single attempt. This miraculous event prompts Jesus to invite them to follow him. As Peter follows Jesus, he witnesses miraculous healings, including the resurrection of a young girl, and the extraordinary sight of Jesus walking on water.

Originally named Simon, Jesus bestows upon him the name Peter, or "Petros" in Greek, meaning rock. Jesus declares, "And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it" (Matthew 16:18). This profound moment signifies the foundation of the Catholic church. Jesus is foreshadowing the moment when Jesus tells Peter in Matthew 16:13-20 that he would be the leader of the church upon Jesus’ passing.

Despite Peter's heroic commitment to Christ, he also experiences moments of failure. In Mark 14:66-72, we witness Peter's struggle as he denies Jesus while grappling with the acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice. Peter's shortcomings serve as a powerful example for us; even one of Jesus’ most beloved disciples faced moments of doubt. The lesson here is that through our failures, we have the opportunity to turn to Christ, drawing closer to Him. It is an opportunity to die to ourselves, living solely for Christ, and to share the gospel with those in our lives by metaphorically "fishing for men."

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