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I want to focus on St. Peter and the topic of surrender.
Imagine St. Peter in the garden of Gethsemane, having just witnessed Judas, his friend of 3 years, betray Jesus with a kiss.
Imagine his shock, his astonishment, and his anger.
And yet, just hours later, he himself denied even knowing Jesus, his best friend, the man he left His beloved wife to follow.
And he denies him two more times.
Imagine his guilt for not being there and speaking up on Jesus’s defense the very next day —for not being there at the very moment that Jesus needed him the most.
This is the Man who raised the dead to life, cured the sick, fed thousands, and captivated people with Truth. This is his best friend, who shared stories around campfires, went fishing with, and spent hours and hours…
Peter wasn’t there. He was weak in a very challenging time. Life can be so hard.
What would you have done?
I think of how many times I’ve have done something I was ashamed of. How did I respond?
And… God knows every thought you think and every hair on your head. He deeply loves you every single moment of your life, even when you are struggling or hurting, whether you believe that or not. Remember that Jesus experienced all of the world’s pains before you did: rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal, hatred and death.
The heart of God is always merciful to those who ask. There is nothing that you can do that will make God love you any more or any less. Repent, live in the present, and keep moving forward. Jesus proclaims in the gospel of Luke (15:7), “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
Like the apostle Peter, we all have a calling. Jesus told Peter, “I tell you that you are Peter [which means “rock”], and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).
Even today, over two thousand years later, every Pope in the Catholic Church can be traced back to Peter, the first Pope, whose bones are literally buried in the Vatican, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.
After denying knowing Jesus, Peter atoned for his lapse of faith. When life was hard, he did not give up. And.. at the very end, He opted to be crucified upside down, sacrificing his life for the faith that he once denied.
In a legend, Jesus was asked by a child, “How much do you love me?” Jesus responded, spreading His arms wide, “This much.” And, arms stretched out on the cross, He bowed His head and died.
St. Catherine of Sienna said: “If you are what you should be, you will light the world ablaze.”
Go, be you, and transform the world.
Anne-Marie Klobe studied Theology at Franciscan University, then later studied Interior Design and The Way of Beauty. Her mission is to evangelize through art, design, books, and retreats. She also inspires and encourages women on their own life journey through Catholic coaching.