“Blessed are you, Simon son of John, For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father, and so I say to you, you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church” Jesus said those words to Simon Peter.
What do you think Peter thought when he heard those words? Do you suppose he was tempted to look at the rest of the Apostles and give a “I’m better than you guys look”? Did he understand what was to be his charge for the rest of his life? What hardships he would face? What kind of death he would face? It makes me think about that adage “Be careful what you wish for”, you might get it and not know what else comes with that wish.
What do you suppose the rest of the apostles present thought about this? Were they jealous? It was not that long ago they fought among themselves as to who was the best among them.
Peter is my hero, he gives me hope for myself. How many times was he rebuked by Christ for something he said, he even denied Christ 3 times after he was arrested and was standing before the Chief Priests and Scribes, but yet after Christ’s Death and Resurrection along the Sea of Galilee Jesus asked Peter if he loved him 3 times and told Peter to Feed my Lambs, Tend my Sheep, and Feed my Sheep. Peter was given the keys to Heaven. Peter represents all of us and our human frailties. He gives us hope that even though we are weak and make mistakes, God is there to forgive and encourage us to do better. For Catholics one of our core beliefs and sacraments is the Act of Reconciliation, the opportunity to tell God we are sorry and want to do better. What a beautiful gift, yet I know from personal experience a gift not used as much as I should have in my younger years.
Taking up our Cross is not always easy, thousands of Christians before us faced challenges to their faith, there were hardships, ridicule, even death faced some of them. Even today there are modern day Martyrs who faced death bravely to follow Jesus just as Peter and the Apostles did. Do we have the faith to stand by them if called? Do we set the example for our Children and Grandchildren of how to live a good Christian life? I wonder, would I have the faith and strength to face death for Christ if called on?
I am not a rock, I am weak, but can I be a small pebble to show what a Christian life is like for others to follow? Can I live a life as an example for my Children and Grandchildren? Do I live my life for myself or to serve Christ? Is it possible to do both at the same time? That is what I will pray and think about today.