Wednesday, December 2, 2009

St Peter is our rock, but you hardly ever hear people talk of him, or write about him, or hold him up as the example. Last year, it was all St Paul.....and I really got into the reading and study, taking up a theme from my earlier life. But it's taken me until now to realise, without Peter there would have been nothing. Jesus gave the highest honour to Peter. Why dont we? St Peter's a given in every catholic life. And he gets no notice at all.

Now I've been struck, forcibly almost, by my need, perhaps I can say 'our need', to understand the first disciple - what were the qualities that made him the right man, one strong enough to be the foundation for two thousand years of history? Because we need to find strength now. Enemies are circling the church. We need to know how to recover from our fear, just like Peter in the palace courtyard. Have you every wondered how we know what happened in the couryard? Because Peter told us. He was the only disciple there - his companion had gone off to find his relative - so if Peter had'nt told, the other disciples would'nt have know, or been able to put it in the New Testament, to come down to the whole world as a lesson. And this is the lesson we need now. We must face the shame of our weaknesses, by know that does not give us an excuse to fail. Let us face our fears, face what they do to us, speak openly of them, and forge on.

When Jesus walked on the water, and Peter jumped out of the boat to go meet him, well he seems sort of dumb and sort of embarassed (at least that's how we interpret it) that he cant get away with the walking on water trick and has to be rescued by the boss, and he gets a ticking off into the bargain. But maybe it's not like that at all: he's braver than any of the others, and his faith - his desire to have faith - is greater than that of the others. He goes over the side when it's the craziest thing in the world - even looking at Jesus doing it, it's still the craziest thing in the world. How great was Peter's longing for Jesus? When he saw Him he just had to go to Him, even though it was the craziest thing in the world. For a moment he was the man he longed to be, with total faith, total courage - the saint he was to become.

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