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.