Friday, February 22, 2013

1 Peter 5:1-4, Psalm 23:1-3a, 4-6, Matthew 16:13-19


9th Day in Lent
Believe, hope and trust Me in all things and you will never be dismayed. This is my assurance to you today.
Nahum 1:7-8a
Yahweh is good for those who hope; in the day of trouble he shelters them. He remembers those who trust in him when the flood engulfs them.

1 Peter 5:1-4, 
Psalm 23:1-3a, 4-6, 
Matthew 16:13-19

1 Peter 5:1-4

My Beloved, St. Peter was a witness to Your suffering.  He saw You arrested and bound like a common criminal. They came under cover of the night because they knew that what they were doing was evil. Peter saw how roughly You were treated. How they goaded and mocked You, how they struck Your face. He tried to get close to You and follow You. His good intentions took him only up to a point and then when he lost sight of You he failed You utterly. He took his gaze away from you - that has always resulted in his sinking. But that's ok because his failure did not cause him to despair. Once his gaze met Yours he steadied. He repented, he was contrite, he was heartbroken and he never forgot that he had denied You not once but three times.  The wound of his denial never quite healed. He carried it with him all his life and it served him well, it kept him humble and from then on he never took his gaze off You again.

We have his beautiful letters that are a testimony of what a good shepherd he was to Your flock.  He set a good example for the other shepherds who came after him to emulate. Thank You Lord for Peter and for his moments of weakness for in them and through them You strengthened him.  He never forgot that only in You he would remain strong until the end.

Psalm 23:1-3a, 4-6

The Lord is my Shepherd there is NOTHING I shall want.
You my Beloved are everything and having You I have all I shall ever need.  You lead me, guide me, feed me, strengthen  and console me. You speak to me and encourage me. What more do I need my Lord and my God when I have You all the time and I eat You and drink You in the Holy Eucharist and You give me an endless supply of grace. No one who has You will ever want for anything.

Matthew 16:13-19

My Beloved, today if we ask the world who You are we will get many different answers. The answers will vary according to what they have heard of You especially non-Christians whose only experience of You will be through their experience of other Christians, this will be the touchstone by which they perceive You.

The answer of many Christians will depend on their level of commitment to the Truth - the unshakable, irrevocable, unchanging Incarnate Truth that cannot deceive or be deceived. So more often than not, they will pick and choose what they wish to believe is the truth and thus they get a Son of Man that is made in the image and likeness of what they desire You to be.

Those like St. Peter who have the Holy Spirit as Chief Resident in the temple of our body, who know You, who know the Father and live a life in union with You who are the fullness of Truth, Goodness, Beauty and Wisdom, will answer with the words of St. Peter - You are the Christ the Son of the Living God. Once we know this my Beloved we must live this knowledge in private and in public. It will make us hated perhaps and discriminated against but we have been warned that Your followers can expect nothing less. In fact we are called to welcome it and rejoice even  if we are so blessed as so be called to suffer for our faith.

Thank You for St. Peter.  Thank You for Your Church and thank You for the authority entrusted to him and his successors to speak for You in matters of faith and morals so that the lines between the Truth and lies will never blur.

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