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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tu Es Petrus

I meant to write something to mark the Solemnity of  Sts. Peter and Paul, however, a family emergency did not allow me to post.  Nonetheless, there is much to be said about the importance of this grand feast day.

Contrary to what some have thought locally, the celebration of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul is not confined merely to parishes who bear the patronage of the holy Apostles.  On the evening of Thursday, June 28, 2012, I went on a mad dash throughout the city seeking a parish that was going to celebrate the solemnity's vigil. At the first two parishes, neither of the priests wanted to celebrate the Vigil, even though both of the Masses they had were past the first Vespers.  It was frustrating and I almost lost hope until I got to the last parish where the pastor, a Benedictine, was preparing to celebrate Mass.  My prayers were answered.  He would indeed be celebrating the Mass for the Vigil of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.  I was most grateful.  The next day, I went to my own parish to celebrate the Solemnity.

One might ask why I was so stubbornly bound and determined to make it to Mass both on Thursday and on Friday.  I have a great love for St. Peter,  I suppose it's because I see a lot of my self in the pre=Ressurection Prince of the Apostles.  There is so much that I want to do.  But, as grand as my wishes and my desires are, my mistakes and failures are just as monumental.  Likes, but, when Peter, I want to walk towards Jesus, but, when the winds whipped up and the waters became choppy, like the Apostle, I start to sink.  I could relate to the reading from St. John's Gospel wherein Jesus asks St. Peter thrice if he loves Him.  Although Peter was perturbed that the Lord should ask him a third time, he may not have realized that Jesus was allowing him to undo the damage of his triple denial.  I suppose that every time we sin, it could be seen as our denial of God's love.  The Lord, through the Sacrament of Penance, allows us to undo that knot and start again.

I find much consolation even in the post-Resurrection St. Peter.  He was not afraid to risk his well-being, even his very life to proclaim the Good News.  Even though there were setbacks (his imprisonment, as detailed in the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles selected for the Solemnity  and other instances), these, too, were moments of grace. 

St. Peter reminds me that even those whom God chooses for great work experience their moments of trials, mistakes and failures.  Jesus stands at the ready, stretching out His hand to pull us up from the turbulent waters of life, if only, like St. Peter, we cry out, "Lord, save me."