Saint Peter (1st century)
for June 29
Simon Peter came from obscurity to become one of our greatest saints and our first pope. He came from the village of Bethsaida, in the outback region of Galilee. He and his brother Andrew were humble fishermen when Jesus called them. We know Peter was married because of the miracle in which Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14, 1 Corinthians 9:5). Because Peter is an Apostle, it is surprising to discover that he often just didn't get it. He and the other disciples misunderstood things, forcing Jesus to explain them (Mark 4:10). He objected to Jesus going to Jerusalem to die, and Jesus sharply rebuked him. To his shame, Peter denied Jesus three times after Jesus' arrest (Luke 22:54-62). But Peter's weaknesses were transformed through his faith in Christ. Peter was the first to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. After the Resurrection, Jesus commissioned Peter to shepherd his flock of believers (John 21:15-17). The Book of Acts shows us Peter as one of the Church's first dynamic leaders. Saint Peter shows us that if we are open to the Holy Spirit we will do great things--despite our weaknesses and mistakes! Saint Peter and Saint Paul share the same feast day, June 29. (Taken from "The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth.")
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Saint Peter was a man of little talent and education. He did not occupy an important position in society and he was often confused about what precisely Jesus was teaching him. But if Peter, a slightly obtuse man with unimpressive credentials, can come to know Jesus intimately and become the rock of the Church, surely we too can know God and become great followers of his way.
Dear Jesus, please help me to recognize that I am worthy of your love and the greatness that a relationship with you affords me. Help me to accept my rightful place as one of your children.