Simon Peter had many qualities I can identify with. He frequently misunderstood Jesus (Matthew 16:16 and 22-23) and some of His simplest parables (Matthew 15:15). He professed great faith, vowing his allegiance to Jesus unto death (Matthew 26:33-35). But, when tested quickly abandons Him (Matthew 26:58). Peter’s explicit denial of Jesus is particularly abhorrent (Matthew 26:69-75).
When I look back on my life, I see times when I failed like Peter to understand some of the simplest teachings of Christ’s Church. Likewise when tested, I too failed to properly defend Christ’s Church and Her teachings.
These qualities are not to be admired or emulated. But there is another side of Peter. It is this side of Peter that lead him to be first among Jesus’ disciples. This is the side of Peter we should strive to be, to emulate.
Peter was repentant. He admitted his sinfulness to Jesus (Luke 5:9). We too should admit our sinfulness to Christ. He is merciful and forgiving. Abundant grace flows through the sacrament of penance.
Peter invited Jesus to stay in his home (Mark 1:29-33 and 2:1-2). We too should invite Christ to dwell with us in our homes. Faith, hope and charity should flow from our family and our home.
Peter left everything behind to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:19-20). Is Christ first in our life? Does Christ walk with us in our work and recreation? This is what Christ calls us to. This is what Simone Peter did. Peter left behind his old life for new life with Christ.
Peter stepped forward when others would not (Matthew 14:28-29, Acts 1:15-16; and 2:14-47). We are called to evangelize, to step forward in the light and truth of Christ. We need not fear. When we step forward, Christ and the Holy Spirit will be with us. They will protect us, embolden us, and provide all we need.
Great article. I love Peter and I often find myself relating to him in these different ways. I know that I can screw up and Jesus will not only forgive me, but love me. I imagine Jesus giving me that look. I can try to walk on water, then grow weak in faith and Jesus will hold me up. And I too want to leave everything and follow Jesus, which I can only do by the grace of God.
Colleen, Thank you for another wonderful comment. I could not survive without His mercy and grace. Michael
Good post. One thought I’ve had running through my days, my heart, my mind comes from Ecclesiastes, (my paraphrase) ” … there is nothing new … its all been said before … “. Thus, the power of reminders. You have brought crucial reminders, what Peter was about, and the worthwhile focus of learning from him, about what is, really, important. Thanks.