Peter is a fascinating and strong figure in the gospels. He failed when he was tested but love overcame his fear. In scripture we read that Peter was fishing when Jesus called from the beach. When he realized it was Jesus, he couldn’t wait for the boat to reach shore but jumped into the water. We have to admire his passion and intensity.
Recommitment after failure is difficult, but Peter had rediscovered Jesus. Jesus came to him and Peter understood that his standing with Jesus was not affected by failure but by being able to respond in love. Peter went on to fully develop in spiritual maturity, leadership, service and ultimately sacrifice.
Hear O Lord, and have pity on me;
O Lord, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
Reflect on the difference in the reactions of Peter and Judas to their weakness and betrayal.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.”
They said to him, “We also will come with you.”
So they went out and got into the boat,
but that night they caught nothing.
When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore;
but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
They answered him, “No.”
So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat
and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in
because of the number of fish.
So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea….
John 21:1-19 or 21:1-14
Holiness does not consist in not making mistakes or never sinning. Holiness grows with capacity for conversion, repentance, willingness to begin again, and above all with the capacity for reconciliation and forgiveness.
Pope Benedict XVI
We are all mistaken sometimes; sometimes we do wrong things, things that have bad consequences. But it does not mean we are evil, or that we cannot be trusted ever afterward.
It is not “forgive and forget” as if nothing wrong had ever happened, but “forgive and go forward,” building on the mistakes of the past and the energy generated by reconciliation to create a new future.
True reconciliation is never cheap, for it is based on forgiveness which is costly. Forgiveness in turn depends on repentance, which has to be based on an acknowledgment of what was done wrong, and therefore on disclosure of the truth. You cannot forgive what you do not know.
Reconciliation always brings a springtime to the soul.