The Gospels regularly present us with the fallibility of Peter.
The gospel chosen for the Feast of Ss Peter and Paul, kept yesterday in England and Wales, presents Peter in a better light.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘Some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’
‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’
Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven. So I now say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.’
Peter confesses Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God. Quick as a flash Jesus makes a profession of faith and purpose regarding Peter.
Which of them was the most surprised at what they heard?
Both find in this exchange a description of their mission to the world – Jesus sent by the Father to be saviour of the world. Peter the one entrusted with ensuring that the message of salvation is made known to the world.
Master and servant are united in common purpose.
- Pray for Pope Francis, successor of St Peter, for his faithfulness in continuing the ministry entrusted to him.
- Pray for the whole Church for its steadfastness and humility in its service of teh world.
Jesus saving Peter from sinking. St Peter’s Church, Wolverhampton.
(c) 2015, Allen Morris.