Today we celebrate the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, which commemorates Christ’s choosing Peter to sit in his place as the servant-authority of the whole Church.
When I meditate on the feast day and on St. Peter, I am reminded how human Peter was. At some points, he clearly “got it” and would make a strong profession of Faith: “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6: 68-69). At other times, he was full of pride or reacted in fear or doubt. When he tried to walk on water, he took his eyes off Jesus and sank in fear. On Good Friday, he denied Christ out of fear for his life.
Yet, every time Peter stumbled or said something foolish, he always ultimately turned back to Christ. And in the end, he gave his life for the Faith. It was this poor, weak man that Christ chose to work through and put over his Church.
This is a reminder that God works through us in our weaknesses, as long as we are open to his grace and love. It is also a reminder that we need to keep our gaze fixed on Christ, and when we stumble, to turn back to him and to God’s merciful love.
~ Written by Sister M. Petra Nielsen