I got a little behind posting my homilies from our Thursday Eucharists. The next few entries will catch us up!
Today we honor the Confession of St. Peter the Apostle: that moment when Peter declares that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. Peter is one of my favorite characters in the New Testament, mostly because he is always messing up. He is the rock on which Jesus will build his Church – he even renamed Peter for this reason. But Peter is always messing up, sinking in the sea, offering to build tabernacles at the Transfiguration, and denying Jesus Christ three times.
I don’t love that Peter messes up because I am superior to Peter. I love that Peter messes up because I mess up so much too. I am always doubting God. I am always misunderstanding what God is doing. I am always denying my Lord – in small and big ways. Somehow, if Peter can do all these things and still be loved by Jesus, maybe there is hope for me. What I love about today’s feast day, though, is that today celebrates a day when Peter gets it right – no beating up Peter; no making excuses. Today is a day that Peter gets it, and we the church rejoice.
What is even more redeeming to me is that Jesus declares how Peter achieves this moment of clarity. “For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father in heaven.” Peter does not achieve this clarity or earn it or do it on his own – only through God can he be this clear-headed rock of the Church, declaring, “You are the Messiah.”
This is how we, too, follow the life of Christ and our call in that life. Only through God, who alone can make us all clear-headed, impassioned lovers of Jesus Christ. We will continue to mess up, just like Peter, but we will have our moments. Moments we make God proud, maybe even moments that make the church want to celebrate these proud moments. Because not only do we celebrate our victories, we celebrate the One who makes those victories possible. Amen.