Monday, May 8, 2017

St Peter gets excited

St Gregory the Great gives us an interesting insight into the mind of St Peter today in A Year with the Church Fathers.

He tells us that St Peter, thinking about the Mount of Transfiguration, was really excited about the prospect of being in glory all of the time with Jesus and the other disciples. He very much looked forward to the next life. Which is really interesting, because it both speaks to his intense faith, and makes us kind of like him even more. He comes across as very human in this story, and makes us smile.

But it also puts things into sobering perspective, right? Because before St Peter got to experience the joy of permanent transfiguration, he had to suffer. And St Gregory the Great makes it clear that this is more the rule than the exception.

Are we of this mindset? Do we realize that following Jesus is going to almost certainly mean some suffering? Well, even if following Jesus itself doesn't bring that suffering, just life itself will probably provide an ample opportunity for it. Not to be pessimistic, but as mortal humans our bodies are going to wear down and eventually we'll die. This is the future that we face, and fortunately our faith gives us bravery with which to face it.

Let's ask for some of that excitement that Peter experienced. Let's look forward to spending eternity with our friends and family in heaven. And let's keep that perspective firmly in place when suffering finds its way down our road.

God, thank You for giving us a reason to be excited.