Saint Peter was born near Bethsaida, a place located on the north shore of the sea of Galilee. We know this because in John1:44 the evangelist mentioned that this was the hometown of Andrew and Peter.
His name was Simon, but when Jesus met him for the first time he told him he would call him Cephas, which means Peter. He was married and was also known as an impulsive man.
He is the apostle who Jesus invited to come to Him, walking on the water. He did so, but became afraid and started to sink. Jesus reached out His hand and caught him, telling home he had little faith. He also asked him why he doubted Him. Read Matthew 14:31.
This makes me think how much Peter represents most of us. How rapidly do we too loose our faith, when the wind and the waves endanger our boats. How easy do we forget that Jesus is always there, protecting us, guiding us towards calmer waters!
Let's continue with the story of Peter. We remember Jesus was arrested and was led to the courtyard of the high priest. We also know that all his disciples deserted him and fled.
But Peter followed at a safe distance, entered the courtyard and sat down to wait for what would happen then. He has been approached three times by people who wanted to know if he was with Jesus. He swore three times that he did not know Him!
Again, don't we recognize ourselves in this denial? How many times in our lives we find ourselves in situations where it's much easier to deny Jesus than to get ourselves in trouble because of His name!
But Peter was also very sincere and recognized he had failed the Lord and wept bitterly!
And look what our dear Lord did for him after His resurrection!
In a very touching way He showed him His mercy. How? By giving him the opportunity, just as he denied Him three times, to confess three times that he loved Him!
How great is our Lord, sisters and brothers in Christ, how great and merciful is our Lord! Is n't this a wonderful way our Lord Jesus chose to show us how forgiveness works?
Well, see how it worked for Peter! It was Peter upon whom Jesus trusted to build His Church! And this impulsive but sincere man finally died a glorious martyr's death following his Master!
Feast day of Saint Peter: June 29th.