Today's Gospel for the feast of St Peter
So here's a quick question for you - who do you say Jesus is? And another one - what does that answer really mean for your life? Peter in today's Gospel declared him the Messiah and the Son of God. Well why wouldn't he? He had seen the miracles. He had heard the teaching. He had been present at the transfiguration. So Peter, who I always think of as a big, impetuous lug, is able to declare with absolute confidence who he thinks Jesus is. And Jesus praises him for his faith. And five minutes later he is lambasting him when Peter tries to tell him that suffering and death is not part of the role of the Messiah. A few weeks later, Peter abandons him in the garden & denies knowing him. He goes into hiding to emerge only after the Resurrection ... and promptly hides himself away with the other disciples after the Ascension. It isn't until after Pentecost that he finds it within himself to put the words that he had declared so confidently to Jesus on the road to Jerusalem that day, that he knows him to be the Messiah & the Son of God, into action. Something that I find comforting, actually. Peter was there. And yet, for all that he had experienced while with Jesus, he still needed God's help, the strength of the Holy Spirit, to follow the path that his declaration of faith to Jesus led. And if Peter needed if, how much more so we?