Here I am Lord,
Speak to me
within my heart and soul.
I am listening.
"I don't know the man!"
I know who I am. Or rather I thought I did. A simple man, even by my own admission: and proud to be. I know what I need to know; the stars, the wind, the sails, the nets. I can smell a storm and be in the tavern before the first drop of rain; I can look at cloud shadows on the waves and find the shoals hidden in deep water. I know the price of fish…
But I don’t know the man.
I’m no Temple man; my brother is the one for that: knows his letters and his Scripture; prays enough for the both of us. Has to… the fish don’t keep the Sabbath; feeding the family is my job, my living. I know what I am good at.
But I don’t know the man.
And I still don’t know what happened, when Andrew brought him to the quay, when he took my hand and called me to him. I’m not one for the road, for the desert. Not one for crowds, for teaching, for preaching, for caring for the sick, for caring for anyone outside my family and my crew. I was so sure I’d be making my way home after a few days, with a tale to tell and a yearning for the open water.
Yet there I was sitting by the dying embers of a brushwood fire, watching his hands and his eyes like a moonstruck girl as he talked about his hopes, his plans and his mission. Listening as he told me that I was part of the plan; that I was a ‘rock’ and not just because I was heavy and slow. Because there would be others who would depend on me as much as I had depended on him. Recalling the times I had blundered through miracles, spoken nonsense, known nothing; thinking he must really not know me at all. And yet, more than anything I wanted to be that person he saw; to fulfil that destiny he foretold; to be all he wanted me to be. And I promised myself that despite all my clumsiness, arrogance and ignorance I would not give up, I would not go back.
I don’t know the man, may never know him; but I love him, I trust him and I will follow him.
You’ll never know
You have to wonder about Jesus’ ability to judge people when you look at Peter, the leader of the Church. Very rarely does he ever get anything right. When he does, he makes a mess of the next thing he does. He is so human he makes your heart ache.
Which is exactly why Jesus chose him.
Hear him saying ‘Look, here is my friend, the man I love and trust; and he’s just the same as you. Not a superman, not a saint, not even a wise man. And be reassured that as much as I love him, I love you - even when you make mistakes, even to the point when you deny me. Because you have heard the call; you are on the journey and I am Home, I am Love, I am the Always.
Take time to spend with the image of Peter, an ordinary man called to follow and then to lead, share his disappointments and his triumphs and see how Peter’s faith can help you on the Lenten journey.
May the blessing of the Sacred Three
The Father who gave us the Word
The Son who is the Word
The Spirit who opens the Word within us
Be with us today and evermore.