In the gospel, we encounter our friend, Peter. We get to really see Peter, with and through Jesus’ eyes. More often, I see Peter through my own eyes. I love walking through the gospel stories with Peter because I feel like I can relate to him. He is constantly putting his foot in his mouth: messing up, doubting, denying, falling, failing… and trying again. Peter lets me know that I too, with all my imperfections and insecurities, am a disciple. I too can follow Jesus… even when it feels like I’m walking on shaky ground.
These moments: The earthshaking, groundbreaking
When the world feels turned upside-down,
I don’t know how to put it right.
These moments: The wobbly, off-kilter.
When there are too many moving parts,
I don’t know how to slow it down.
In these moments, I cry out to God.
Then God takes hold of my right hand.
I know there is a great divine spirit with and in me.
Yesterday’s gospel reveals one of these moments. The early church was all moving parts, constantly being shaken up. Feel the uneasiness and confusion. Sense the tension and upheaval surrounding the disciples. In this moment, Peter finally answers the question right. But this scene is more than a teacher quizzing his student.
In this moment, Peter really sees Jesus.
When society doubted and rejected,
Peter listened to the spirit within.
In this moment, Jesus really knows Peter.
When Peter was shaken and remained steadfast,
Jesus called him blessed.
This moment: The love, kindness.
There two friends met.
They knew God’s presence.
Upon that rock, we build the Church. Fixed like a peg in a sure spot, the Kingdom of Heaven resides here and now. God is bound up with and within us. And so, we courageously let ourselves be shaken and let ourselves be steadfast. Our lives are bound up with God. And so, we let the Holy Spirit alive in us move and have her being.
Here and now, love and kindness endure forever.
Maddie LaForge, M.Div., is a New Orleans native, currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. She teaches religious studies at St. Francis High School in Mountain View. Her love for the classroom goes back to her time as a Jesuit Volunteer at Colegio Miguel Pro in Tacna, Peru. Maddie is a graduate of Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology and Spring Hill College.