Saints Peter and Paul, 29th June 2020
Each day, we live within our limitations but, each day, we are also asked to live in a world without limitation. Each day, we face death and, each day, we are invited to live as if death no longer matters, as if death no longer has a hold on us, as if eternal life begins now. When Jesus asks Peter, But you, who do you say that I am ? he is inviting Peter to live in this larger world, to join him in a world where death has had its say but is no longer the last word. Immediately after this passage this new dynamic will be crystallised in the stark warning of Jesus’ own death and resurrection, and Peter’s previous insight into who Jesus is will suddenly founder. As in his prison escape and momentary walking on water, he can only briefly live in this other world, this deeper reality which underlies this one. This highlights the gifted nature of both Peter and Paul’s greatness. Paul too has his limitations, a human being subject to anger, weariness and the bitterness of betrayal, the whole gamut of human emotions which Christ too took on. But, in Christ, they both find their way through these limitations. And that invitation to allow death to have its say but not to be the final word is there for us too, now, in these times of heightened awareness, when the ‘evil’ of death and the goodness or ‘godliness’ of people have been acutely counter-posed. Yes, Covid 19 is a cause for despair as are so many human induced conditions, but it is also a cause for hope, for seeing deeper into the reality of who we are: children of the living God who, in Christ, will not be left to founder.