Today’s Lenten reflection concerned the one saint who I feel bests understands the human condition…St. Peter! He felt all the human weaknesses, and often expressed himself in ways that I can readily understand. He was tired so he slept, even though Our Lord asked him to stay awake. He was scared of being singled out, so he denied knowing the Son of God. He was hungry and he complained. And when he went up the mountain with Jesus and saw the Transfiguration he said “It is good to be here”.
I agree with Peter. It is good we are here, today, at this point in our lives. Each one of us has had trials, each one of us has suffered. Each one of us has, at some point in our lives, experienced hurt through physical pain, emotional upheaval, and spiritual numbness. St. Peter understands.
And each one of us is exactly where we are supposed to be, according to His will. We would not be the person we are unless we traveled the road He paved individually for each one of us.
Like Peter, we all get tired. I get tired of defending my Church and my faith from the ridicule and derision of others. I get tired of listening to comedians joke about our faith by poking fun at our traditions. Just this week they joked about the shoes of our now-retired Pope, the Christmas/Easter Catholics, and the Cardinal’s robes. Would Peter laugh along with the crowd if he were in the audience? I believe he would, because I have laughed along with the crowd so I wouldn’t stand out or be told I have no sense of humor. (I have a great sense of humor by the way)
I have also walked away from those who demean my Church because at times I just didn’t want to “get into it”. I was worried I would be the one they ridiculed. Or I was worried I couldn’t counter their complaints about my Church without losing my temper (yes, I do have a temper too) In other words, I was afraid. St. Peter understands.
And then there are the times I have been insecure. Can I do this Lord? Are you sure I’m the right person for the job? Don’t you think she is the better person? I really feel I’m going to mess the whole thing up Lord. I am not that good, truly you should know that Lord. (Have I mentioned I love Reconciliation?)
St. Peter has been there. St. Peter has felt unworthy and afraid. St. Peter has seen it all, done it all, and felt it all. He is the go-to-saint for all of my insecurities because he understands the human condition so well.
And yet, in spite of all of his imperfections, Jesus handed the keys of our Church to his safekeeping.
St. Peter said it best, after being on the mountain with Christ,
“…it is good to be here“.
As long as You remain close by my side Lord…it certainly is!