If you find ourselves acting like Saint Peter – one minute brilliant, the next foolish – then ask for a greater release of the Holy Spirit in your life. That's the advice given by Pete Burak in the latest edition of FAITH Magazine, the official publication of the Diocese of Lansing. Pete, above, is the director of id, the young adult outreach of Renewal Ministries. He is a husband, father, and a parishioner at Christ the King Parish in Ann Arbor. Pete writes:
I love St. Peter. He’s my favorite person in the Bible (other than Jesus and Mary, of course!). Not only is he my namesake, but I find him to be inspiringly relatable. Although all the heroes of the Bible are rightly revered and remembered, there’s something about Peter’s journey of faith and subsequent transformation that deeply resonates with me.
In the Gospels, the most consistent thing about Peter is his inconsistency. One minute, he’s getting it – “You are Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Mt 16:16; Mk 8:29) – but then several verses later Jesus rebukes him saying, “Get behind me, Satan!” (Mt 16:23; Mk 8:33) That’s quite a dip! Peter walks on water, sinks, then walks on water again. Peter sees the Transfiguration and has the most male response in the Bible: “Uhh, let’s build tents!” At the Last Supper, Jesus tries to wash Peter’s feet, Peter says no, Jesus says it’s necessary, so Peter replies, “then wash everything!” Peter denies Jesus three times, then later affirms his love for Jesus three times.
Peter is clearly up and down like so many of us. He loves Jesus and wants to follow him, but something is missing.
Peter, like the other Apostles, and all of us, needed the Holy Spirit. Peter enters the Upper Room that glorious Pentecost day as a passionate but still inconsistent disciple, but emerges later clothed with power from on high; throughout the Acts of the Apostles, we encounter a very different Peter. In Acts 2 (14-36), Peter stands with the other Apostles and unleashes a clear, prophetic interpretation of what’s happening and a stirring call to repentance and conversion. He quotes Scripture, identifies sin, proclaims the Lordship of Jesus and unflinchingly invites people to believe.
Peter was once an instrument out of tune, playing the music but only occasionally hitting the right note, but he becomes a powerful ringing bell. He’s still Peter, but the Spirit of the Living God has given him a new foundation, conviction and confidence in both himself and the Gospel. Peter’s still not perfect, but he’s equipped to minimize his scared or inconsistent tendencies and continue on his path of holiness and mission. If we find ourselves acting like Peter – one minute brilliant, the next foolish – then ask for a greater release of the Holy Spirit in your life. Let the power of Pentecost be renewed in you every day and watch as your faith, confidence and fervor grows.
Our first pope understands that journey, so St. Peter, pray for us!
* For more from FAITH Magazine go to: https://faithmag.com/