So, you gotta love Peter. This month, the Apostle Peter is the main character in three of the Sunday gospel readings. He is a complex man. His faith in Jesus makes him bold as he ventures out to join Jesus on the stormy sea. Yet, as his natural instincts overtake him, fear overcomes his courage and he helps us to understand how our faith is simultaneously both strong and fragile. He has the gift of spiritual perception and theological insight as he identifies Jesus as the long-promised Messiah. Yet, he fails to grasp Jesus’ mission when he wants to prevent Christ’s impending suffering and death. Jesus declares that he will build his church, the vehicle for carrying on Christ’s ministry and carrying out Christ’s mission on the ‘rock’ Peter (which is what his name means in Greek). Yet, this rock will crumble as Peter denies he even knows him shortly before Jesus is tried and crucified.
Because of Peter, we can be assured that what scripture says is true: “that our faith is made strong in our weakness.” Our faith, in the end, is the gift of God, given to us at our Baptisms that God will continue to grow because of our strengths and in spite of our weaknesses. Thanks be to God!
Pr. Mary Konopka