The Apostle Peter is an extraordinary figure in that he seems to be something of a mix between a man with incredibly deep insight into the truth and a very simplistic application of that truth to reality. Take the example we have before us in today’s Gospel. Peter comes up with the deep truth that has been hidden form the eyes of most that Jesus is indeed the Messiah; yet he very quickly incurs the wrath of Jesus by speaking against the mission for which He, the Messiah had been sent. Admittedly it was virtually impossible for Peter to have known what the precise will of God for Jesus was in terms of Jesus’ upcoming Passion, yet Peter speaks against the words of Jesus as He describes such in a rather roundabout fashion.
I believe this gives rise to much hope for us all in that a man with such deep insight can also be so profoundly wrong yet it not exclude him from a significant ongoing role in the life of the Church. In other words, what God seems to be looking for in a disciple is someone who is willing to learn and give his or her life over to the service of the Kingdom of God and that God is willing to work with us even though our comprehension of his will may be slow or imperfect.
This is tremendous relief to me as I am all too aware of my own shortcomings and I am just as sure that there are probably as many of which I am unaware on top of these! Yet God has still called me to be a priest. The least I can do is seek to surrender my imperfect life to His grace more and more each day and allow His Spirit to bring about the necessary changes. There is always hope if we are willing to surrender to God’s grace in our lives – and it is this lesson I learn very often when I read about Peter’s encounters with Jesus.
Am I willing to speak my mind before God and tell Him what I think about a certain situation? If not, I should be praying for the grace to do this as it is essential for my spiritual growth.
Holy Spirit, come and transform my heart into the one that grows in its ability to recognize and discern God’s will.