Yesterday, Peter gets it right. A few verses later, in today's Gospel selection, he steps in it, yet again and Jesus confronts him with his error. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes, stemming from a place of fear, we can get it wrong.
Jesus tells the disciples what awaits him at the end of the journey: his Passion and coming Resurrection. And Peter pulls him aside, saying, Hey, cut that out, we've just told you that we believe that you are the Messiah, and now you tell us this!? And Peter gets dressed down by Jesus for missing the change in course that Jesus' life and ministry means to the world. And the iconic words about taking up crosses, and gaining the whole world but losing life are spoken.
Peter is not tossed into the outer darkness for reacting to difficult news in a manner for which Jesus did not care. We know he continues on with Jesus and becomes the de facto leader of the apostles. Mistakes happen. We can learn from them, even when we have been publicly dressed down. We're all human, frail and faulty, and at the same time capable of amazing leaps of progress.
We need to remember to be patient with each other. Lovingly correcting one another when we stray, and at the same time being able to be embraced and move forward into the creation of this kingdom Jesus has prepared for all of us. Really good news this morning.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Art: Me @ 48, jfd+ 2009