August 5, 2010
Matthew 16: 13 – 23
In light of what transpires in this well-known passage from the Gospel of St. Matthew in which Christ appoints Peter as the Chief of the Apostles and confers on him the primacy, it seems all the more contradictory and paradoxical that we witness, at the very same time, Peter attempting to dissuade Jesus from the Cross. It was Peter also who denied Christ three times. How are we to understand such a puzzle?
It may be explained in this way: Jesus sees and understands everyone and everything. He can read hearts and souls. And looking into the heart and soul of Simon Peter, the Son of God sees a man who, although weak, sinful and full of contradictions was, nonetheless, one who possessed a very strong faith which was unshakable. Christ knew that the humanity of the fisherman from Galilee would lead him to be patient, understanding and forgiving of others, qualities necessary in the chief Shepherd of the Church.
This brings to mind the words Jesus spoke often in the Gospel: “I have come, not to call the righteous, but to call the sinners.”
May you and I never despair of our personal sins. May we go to Christ in the Sacrament of Confession and seek and receive His merciful forgiveness.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, have mercy on me a sinner.