The unsteady rock

Like with St. Peter, the important thing is not how many times we fall down, but how many times we stand back up.

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In today’s first reading, we read about another one of the blunders of St. Peter:

And when Cephas (Peter) came to Antioch, I (Paul) opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.

For, until some people came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself, because he was afraid of the circumcised.

And the rest of the Jews [also] acted hypocritically along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. — Galatians 2:11-13

Yes, that’s the same Peter to whom Jesus handed the keys to the kingdom. The same rock upon which Jesus built His Church.

That’s also the same rash Peter who walked on water but then sank because of doubt. The same Peter who, through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, said that Jesus was the Messiah, but then called satan afterwards for not thinking as God does.

And yes, the same Peter who denied the Lord three times, but who was then shown divine mercy and told the Lord that he loved Him three times.

God, with all His wisdom, power, love, and mercy, still chose someone as unsteady, impulsive, and inconsistent as Peter to be His follower and to lead His Church after His ascension.

Maybe God should have chosen someone more qualified and blameless than Peter.

But, maybe it’s also God’s way of telling us that He chooses us despite our sins, our shortcomings, and our imperfections. He calls us to love Him and His people despite our failures.

He calls not only those who are already perfect in faith, but especially those who are sinners.

And like with St. Peter, the important thing is not how many times we fall down, but how many times we stand back up.

Despite his shortcomings, St. Peter was one of the first followers who continued the mission started by Jesus. Even to his death, St. Peter followed Jesus.

Have you failed? Have you fallen down or fallen short? I have… again.

But, let us stand up once again.

St. Peter, pray for us.


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Leave time for doing good

The world needs good Samaritans who are willing to be disturbed and to be side-tracked to help a stranger in need.

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In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells the story of the good Samaritan. It is one of the parables that we are most familiar with.

At the end of the story, the scholar of the law correctly answered Jesus that the one who was neighbor to the man in need was the Samaritan who showed mercy.

There are many lessons we can learn from this story. But, what struck me today was how the Samaritan went out of his way and spent his precious time and resources to care for a stranger in need.

Not only did the Samaritan help the man who was near death, he also poured wine and oil over his wounds, bandaged them, took him to an inn, and took further care of him.

Imagine the amount of time the Samaritan spent for the man. Imagine the hassle, the plans that were not followed to the letter, the deadlines that were not met, and the to-dos that were left unticked — all because he wanted to help a stranger in need.

The world needs good Samaritans who will make time to help others — by getting involved in outreach programs, by helping communities, by organizing non-profits.

But, more importantly, the world needs good Samaritans who will take time each day, despite their busy schedules, their loaded to-do lists, and their deadlines to care for others.

The world needs good Samaritans who are willing to be disturbed and to be side-tracked to help a stranger in need.

Leave time for doing good. Make space for helping others.

Will you be a good Samaritan today?


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