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