Pastor’s Letter: February 6

Pastor’s Letter: February 6

Pastor’s Letter: February 6

4 Feb 2022 | Posted by: chadmin

The February 6 bulletin is available online. 

Dear friend,

The Gospel reading on this 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time gives us an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between Jesus and Peter. The Catholic Christian Church tradition professes Peter as the first Pope. Jesus put Peter in charge of the other Apostles when He gave him the keys to the kingdom. The relationship between Peter and Jesus is complex and one for us to use to understand our own relationship with Jesus. Jesus spent time with Peter and invited him into a deeper relationship. Peter professed Jesus to be the Messiah. Peter denied Jesus three times. Peter deserted Jesus in His hour of suffering and crucifixion. Peter experienced and expressed the whole gamut of emotional and spiritual commitment to Jesus and the challenge it brought to his life.

This Sunday’s Gospel reading from Chapter 5 of Luke’s Gospel describes the initial encounter between Peter and Jesus. Jesus enters the scene and uses Peter’s boat to sit and teach the crowds. After teaching, Jesus tests Peter’s resolve to the message, and to Jesus, by inviting Peter to take the boat out to deep waters for a catch. Peter’s initial response is to reject the request based on his own experience of long nights of fishing failures. However, Peter’s heart was moved enough to realize that the request from this kind and holy man was one to be patiently endured. When the catch of fish is so big that the boats are sinking, Peter realizes that he is in the presence of someone new. “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man,” says Peter to Jesus. Peter identifies Jesus as Lord and he recognizes his own sin in the presence of perfection. This must have also included a reaction of fear, as Jesus instructs them not to remain in fear.

All of the Bible stories exist to communicate truth to the listener. In the best possible way, the Bible conveys stories from long ago, in order to reach hearts today. We all possess the potential of Peter. All of the apostles are persons for us to embrace and model. Peter shows us that the experience of Jesus changes lives. In his ministry, sometimes Peter succeeded and sometimes he lived in perceived failure. In the end, Peter allowed himself to be forgiven. All of us can kneel before the Altar or the Eucharist and say, “depart from me Lord, for I am a sinner.” We acknowledge our sin so we get challenged to improve. We use our gifts so we get challenged to take risks. We give everything to God and neighbor, so we understand the meaning of laying down life for others. The life Jesus lived with the Apostles sets the framework for our growth as Christians. All the Biblical stories show us how the holy ones before us responded to the challenges of life. May the life of St. Peter the Apostle show us the way to recognize the perfection of Christ, and embrace a personal relationship with Jesus that will help us live ordered to heaven.

God bless,

Father David