Simon, the rough fisherman from Galilee becomes the central character of the early Church.
Peter is the one who denies Jesus, the one who is unable to speak the truth, the one who runs away.
Why was it, then, that Jesus chose Peter to be the rock,
the foundation of the Church, because of his passionately big heart, because of his generous enthusiasm (the Greek origin of the word means inspired by God)?
Yes, but most of all because Peter, like Paul, the other pillar of the Church, knew what it was to experience the mercy of God, mercy which brought him back to life.
The rock, the foundation of the Church is Mercy.
The heart of God and the heart of God’s Body, the Church, is mercy.
That is good news.
Peter was a fisherman of Galilee, born about the same time as Jesus.
He is traditionally pictured as an older man with the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
c30 AD: Followed Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem
c 33 AD: Denied he knew Jesus
c 44 AD: travelled to Antioch and became a Church leader there.
64AD: was crucified, upside down in Rome.
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?” He answered, “Yes Lord, you know I Love you.””John 21:15
John 18: New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised
Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter was standing outside at the gate.
So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in. 17
The woman said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’
He said, ‘I am not.’ 18
Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing round it and warming themselves.
25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They asked him, ‘You are not also one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’ 26 One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’ 27
Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.
Thought for the Day
Put yourself in the place of Peter.
Allow Jesus to take your feet and to wash them.
Allow his love to wash over you and through you.
What is it that you want him to heal?
Thank God for God’s mercy to you?
Who is it who needs your mercy?