The Flaws of Peter

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When I was a kid I was thoroughly impressed with St. Maria Goretti who suffered martyrdom at the age of 12 rather than sin and St. Therese Lisieux who wanted to follow Christ from a very young age as a religious sister, and indeed, did so until she died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis. I’m not sure if it was because they were young or because they were female. But there was no doubt that St. Peter was very low on my list of favorite saints. As I’ve grown in age and I hoped for wisdom and grace, St. Peter has certainly worked his way up to near the head of my list!

Who, I ask, had a stronger desire to follow Jesus, to trust Jesus and to completely love Jesus, than Peter? And, who but Peter fell short so many times.., and yet, with the love and compassion of Christ, picked himself up, dusted himself off and tried again? Tried to the point where he himself was crucified, as legend tells it, upside down on the cross because he wasn’t worthy to die in the same way as his Master.

In our reading today, Jesus knew what was going to happen before it did. He sent the disciples on ahead of himself as a “teaching tool,” a “learning experience” to show His divinity, but even more so to have the disciples come to trust Him completely. Peter faltered only when he took his eyes off Jesus and became afraid of the wind.
He faltered only when “he took his eyes off Jesus.” So it is with us. No matter the burdens and frustrations of our lives, we truly falter only when we take our eyes off Jesus…When we think He has abandoned us, when we try to “go it alone” for whatever reason. His voice may not be in crashing thunder, or gale force winds. It may only be a whisper…but we need to listen! He is there! Sometimes I wonder if the inspired author of the Gospels recorded Peter’s flaws to give US hope!

Linda Caminiti