Sunday, 18 April 2010

Doesn't this 'Arrest the Pope' Stuff Remind You of Someone?"

From today's Gospel Reading...

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Jesus said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

It is Peter who is singled out by Christ after the Resurrection, just as He had done during His Ministry. It is Peter who is asked thrice of his affection and loyalty to Him, after the Resurrection, just as He had done during and towards the completion His Ministry. It is Peter who Christ asks to feed His sheep, the Faithful. What an awesome responsibility it is to be Peter's Successor. He who strengthens the Faithful needs our prayers. St Peter died in a like manner to Our Lord, but would not have himself die in the same position as the Lord, preferring to be crucified upside down.

St Peter is the man who denied Christ, but, more importantly he is the man who was entrusted with so much and who depended on his Saviour. It is Christ's love and mercy that is victorious in St Peter. Peter who is Leader to the Apostles is also Peter the weak, made Peter the Strong by his Lord and Saviour. The love which those who have abandoned Christ have for Him upon realising their great need for Him is awesome in the sight of those who believe and very often those who do not. Only those who know that they need Jesus Christ can love Him and only those who know that they need Jesus Christ can become true 'fishers of men'.

The forgiveness and mercy of Christ makes timid men bold, makes the fearful unafraid and turns Peter, the man who crumbled, into St Peter, the Rock upon whom the entire Church is built, just as Christ had told him. In choosing Peter, God was taking a risk, but in choosing any man, God would be taking a risk. St Peter tells us, once again, that nothing on Earth is as powerful, nothing is so mighty and nothing is so transforming, as the mercy and love of Jesus Christ. The first Pope is a man whose spirit is crushed by his own weakness, who fails Christ abysmally and yet Christ does not change His mind and reassign Peter's position to another. He is faithful to His promise. He loves Peter tenderly and when Peter recovers, not only the Apostles, but the poor and the lame, the sick and the infirm wish only to pass beneath the shadow of this Saint, the shadow of St Peter, the Rock, the Pope, who like his Lord and Saviour becomes a man filled both with Grace and Truth. A man unafraid and bold, strong and loyal, even unto Death.

It is the forgiveness of Christ that captures the hearts of men. If we are to capture the hearts of men for Christ, then not only must we know Christ's forgiveness, but we must show His forgiveness and mercy to others. It is Christ's love that will win men's affections to Him. This love we are called to imitate. It does not come from us but the One who forgives us and shows mercy to us. The World and certainly The Times, who have dedicated a pictorial link and article to the 'Papal Arrest' own-goal engendered by Dawkins & Co, may not always appreciate the love of Christ, yet, according even to The Times today, the Holy Father has reconciled one Maltese man, injured by priestly abuse, to the Church through the man's having prayed in the presence of the Successor of St Peter. I think it is therefore safe to say that 'Peter' has still got what it takes! Perhaps that man, reconciled to the One True Faith, also, will become a fervent ambassador for Christ.

Where there is Peter there is the Church. Where there is the Church, there is Eternal Life.


Anonymous said...

Is it just me or do any other Catholics secretly think 'Christ, he looks like a right tit' when they see Benedikt mincing about in that daft red cape with a billion pounds' worth of gold in a sceptre...

The Bones said...

I don't think that no.

I did when I wasn't a Catholic, perhaps, but now I believe he is dressed in the splendour of the Church.

There is no Office higher in the World that that of Supreme Pontiff.

His robes reflect that quite well I think. He is the Successor of St Peter.

If you prefer Christ's poverty, to His majesty, consider a vocation in the Franciscans.

Bidguz said...

Despatch from the Univ. Malta:

There are others (many others), but I dont have images right now. The papers here are not exactly following line that the Papal visit has healed wounds... Church attendances were very low lately I should tell to you

Anonymous said...

Well I am sort of torn. On the one hand, I know Christ told us to found a Church and appointed successors to tend to the flock, so I can see the wisdom in a universal church. On the other hand, he didn't tell us to worship a false idol decked in gold. The Devil takes many forms...

The Bones said...


We don't worship the Pope. We respect his Teaching Authority.

That Teaching came from Christ handed down to the St Peter and the Apostles.

Somehow if he was dressed in a suit and tie, or was wearing levi jeans, I don't think you'd respect him any more.

The Only Safe Space in the World

Virus normalcy, the so-called 'new normal', is for Christians almost certainly more abhorrent than it is for people of other reli...