I am Peter

Well friends, here we are: Holy Week 2021.

One year later, and it’s de ja vu all over again of yet another pandemic Easter.

Virtual Mass, Zoom brunch, being separated from family and loved ones. We’ve been there, done that. And yet, here we are, yet again, once more.

I was watching Mass yesterday – Palm Sunday – with my special gentleman, and as with the every final Sunday before Easter, the Lord’s Passion was read during the Gospel. It’s long, emotional, and yet, familiar to the point where the heaviness and magnitude of what’s actually happening can lose its “hitting power.”

But, like God often does, yesterday during the reading, he nudged my attention in a specific direction. I was struck by a different part of the Passion that I don’t always focus on, when reflecting on Jesus’ death. And that was our beloved, Peter, denying Jesus three different times.

We all know the story. Peter, when asked by the crowd if he knew Jesus, or accused that he had been seen with Jesus, Peter denies knowing Him at all.

He’s our lovable sidekick in this story, right? The good man who has this terrible slip up, but is redeemed when Jesus forgives him and literally gives him the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 16:19.

It’s stories like these in the Bible that I think God purposely put in there to be little nuggets of encouragement for us, right?

Like, God didn’t have to include this little plot twist in how the Passion played out. But I think He allowed it to play out like this, specifically for you and me, reading this.

Because what really hit me, reflecting on this reading from Mass is that, I am Peter. I am Peter more often than I’d like to admit.

Not only did I have a season of my life, during my anorexia where I was actively denying Jesus with my actions, thoughts, words and heart, I am also Peter in little things each and everyday.

Every time I partake in gossip, think an unkind thought, say something sharp, am lazy. All the opportunities where I could do something good for another person, but don’t. Every time my heart has a spirit of pride or vanity. Every slip of a bad word, or jealous or lustful thought…my laundry list of sins on a daily basis are a mile long.

I am Peter.

I deny Jesus through all of those things.

And yet

Peter’s story wasn’t over. It wasn’t doomed. He was forgiven and redeemed.

Whenever I hear the story of Peter, I always think to myself, “Gosh, how did Peter live with himself after that?! Denying Jesus three different times…

Oh, hello kettle…meet pot!

I could be saying the same thing to myself! I am guilty of just the same.

It wasn’t the end for Peter, and it isn’t the end for me or you.

Because of what we’re going to be celebrating, Easter Sunday.

That is why Jesus died. That is why it matters: because in His blood, we are cleared and forgiven of all of those denials — big and small — that we make every single day.

That’s grace. That’s His amazing grace.

Sometimes, the hardest thing for us to do is to receive it, and then forgive ourselves.

Peter didn’t wallow in his royal mess up. But he received Jesus’ forgiveness, and then went on to not only become the first leader of the Church, but eventually became Saint Peter.

He forgave himself and moved forward, living in the light.

Which perhaps, is the most powerful demonstration of the freedom that comes from Christ.

We are never “too broken” for Jesus. We are never irredeemable or unsavable for Him. He loves to forgive, and if we have any doubt, we need to simply look at our lovable goof-up, Saint Peter.

Praying for you all as we embark on this most holy of weeks, leading up to Easter. May our hearts be filled with the overwhelming love of God as we reflect on His death and glorious resurrection.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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95 thoughts on “I am Peter

  1. I feel so bad for you! We had Candidates and Catechumens with Sponsors only last year at Easter Vigil. This year we are open to all with three buildings each at 30%.

    We have two baptism, one reception into the Church and 24 confirmations.

    So excited!

    Me, the deacon, and my brother priests have each had our first shot vaccine.

    We even have teens doing live stations 9am Friday.

    NYC must really be struggling with COVID-19. Let’s hope for by Assumption of Mary things improve!!

    1. Oh wow – that’s so great that your Masses are open! That’s wonderful!! I wish it were like that in NYC too! Praying with you! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  2. Yes, familiarity does lesson the impact. Try reading Psalm 22. It’s a Messianic Psalm describing the crucifixion Jesus was to endure. Maybe they read that lesson too?

    Yes! Peter lets us know that even the best of the apostles struggled. I always find comfort in Paul’s “the good I want to do, I don’t” passage in Romans. It shows that the struggle is a sign that we are saved as our old man and new creation are battling, that we indeed have that new creation!

    I suddenly find myself comparing Peter to the Great Lawrence Olivier. Olivier was known for going after his choices full throttle. Someone once pointed out that, due to his fearless pursuit of his acting choices, his failures were as spectacular as his successes! So it is with Peter. He got out of the boat and came so close! But he never backed away from the plate and always swung with abandon. Not a bad role model when it comes to living in faith!

    My prayers for you and yours. My best to Steven. Hugs!!

    1. Hi Jeff! Oh gosh, i will have to read Psalm 22 – i don’t think ive ever read that, but it will be a good reminder. oh yes – that message from Paul is definitely one that hits close to home. How ineresting about Olivier! I love that – swinging with abandon – what a powerful image of how we are to live our faith! i love that. GOsh, Jeff you never fail to give me such a profound perspective and nuggets of sage wisdom! thank you! keeping you and your family in my prayers as well. big hugs to you guys! xox

  3. Well done! This is so wonderful to read, as I think we can all say the same that we, too, are Peter. I remind myself that Jesus does know all things and especially what is in our hearts, and He saw true repentance in Peter’s heart and believed in Peter’s ability to feed the sheep and the lambs, beginning Christians and seasoned ones. That’s a love we should all want to experience. A lovely post.

    1. thank you so much! i’m so glad you enjoyed the read! yes – we are all Peter. An amazing love indeed! Hugs and love xox

  4. Thank you so much for sharing that! I often feel like Peter in my life. Like I want to do the right thing most of the time, but I often put my foot in my mouth or mess up. One of my favorite movies is The Passion of the Christ, but one of the scenes that always makes me cry is when Peter realizes that Jesus was right about Peter denying Him. He goes straight to Mary, and the look on her face is one of concern and compassion for Peter. But when she tries to console and comfort him, he pulls away and is like, “No! I am unworthy! I have denied him, Mother!” That always makes me lose it because that’s ME! I feel like Peter too!

    Thank you for also saying what I think many people need to hear: God does give us His grace and forgiveness when we recognize and accept who Jesus is and what He’s done for us. But it’s up to us to also forgive ourselves. That’s the part I still continually struggle with to this day. I often despair, But I will have to come back to this blog post whenever I struggle.

    I don’t always respond to all your blog posts, but I definitely do read them, and enjoy your insights and wisdom. I see that you’ve liked a few of mine as well, and I sincerely appreciate it. Have a blessed Holy Week! 🙂

    1. Oh, i am right there with ya Luke! thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. i’m glad it resonated with you. Yes! His forgiveness, love and grace are always waiting for us to embrace. Thanks again!! have a blessed Holy Week! Hugs and love xox

  5. Oh so true: accepting forgiveness and sometimes even more so forgiving ourselves. He must allow ourselves to be forgiven and even to accept that God unconstitutionally loves us and wants us to be happy and “sing with joy.” May this Holy Week find you filled with joy and love. Hugs and Love 🤗n💕!!!

    1. You’re one hundred percent correct about that! YES! Sing with joy! that is the goal in life! THank you for this beautiful reflection – it has certainly blessed me today~ ! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Greg! yes – more than we’d like to admit for sure. thanks for stopping by! have a blessed Holy Week! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Heather! Oh wow!! I can’t wait to read it! 🙂 Greater God indeed! have a blessed Holy Week! Hugs and love xox

  6. I believe we never find out exactly what happens to Peter. I feel most of us would probably behave like him in a life or death situation. I also remember the phrase, “He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.”
    I think Jesus was just reminding Peter that we are all flawed. If Peter had been captured with Jesus then Peter would have been unable to save the people he later saves. Peter talks a big game but he first had to be humbled by Jesus’ words before he could fulfill his destiny. Every time he might get too self important, his mind will likely remind him of his own failure in Jesus’ hour of need.

    1. thank you so much for this powerful reflection. you’re so right – we are all flawed, but hallelujah for Jesus who is our redeemer and makes us new! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much 🙂 Glad it hit home. Yes – and we are all redeemed through His blood! Hugs and love xox

  7. Lovely–thanks for sharing! I, also, am Peter. But wow, didn’t Peter change from timid fair-weather follower to lion-hearted apostle! May I live in the emboldening power of the Holy Spirit.

    1. Hi Jan! thank you so much for sharing your heart on this. Amen to that – may we be filled with that emboldening power to live out the faith! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you Tonya for the link up! Praying for you and yours this Holy Week! Hugs and love xox

  8. Thank you for this timely truth and worth telling everyday. You have penned it and presented it so well.

    We have all been there. We’ve all been Peter at one time or the other. But we thank God for His unfailing love and redeeming power. Yes, forgiveness is there for us all regardless of the slip or fall but we just need to receive it and bounce back like Peter did. Peter bounced back; John Mark bounce back; Abraham bounced back, so c an anyone

    1. Thank you so much for this thoughtful reflection! Amen – God’s unfailing love and redeeming power is why we’re all here today! Hugs and love xox

  9. Beautiful post, thank you for sharing another pic of your special guy. I hope he appreciates you!
    Your spiritual shortcomings are mine as well. May the Lord mature our hearts, open deeper truths, and lead us to fulfill His call upon our lives.

    1. Hi LIsa Beth! thank you so much! haha yes! 🙂 oh he certainly does, and vice vera! amen to that – His mercy redeems and renews! Hugs and love xox

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I find a lot of Peter in me as well, if I’m being honest. I am sorry and do repent of this, yet it happens time and time again. Today this reminds of the fact that I can never, even on my best day, earn my way into and God’s heart. The blessing with this realization is that I do not have to, because He already loves me! He sent His Son to take my (our) place on that cross, knowing that I didn’t deserve it. He simply loves, and there is no greater evidence than the events of this week.

    May you be blessed this Holy Week
    Pastor Chuck

    1. Thank you so much Pastor Chuck for your thoughtful response. Amen to that – Jesus on the cross blankets the world in His saving mercy and redeeming love. what a truly incredible gift. Hugs and love xox

  11. Amen, and indeed we are all like Simon Peter from time to time and perhaps more often than not, but thank God that He is always faithful to forgive us, restore us, and grow us to become more like Jesus with each step we tame. Happy Holy Week, Caralyn! 🙏🏻✝️❤️

    1. thank you so much Darryl! so so SO true! God’s faithfulness and love is why we’re here today! have a blessed Holy Week my friend! Hugs and love xox

  12. If we look back on our lives, we all have been Peter; at some point in our lives. And its not just in words. We have denied God through our actions, our behavior, etc.
    I think that it comes down to the phrase, “Always be prepared to give answer…”; said by Peter later in one of his letters. (1Peter 3:15).

    Recently I was a brunch with some friends and the conversation topic came across to religion. It was then that I heard one friend (whom I’ve known as Christian) to state that he was an Atheist. It came as a shock to me. However the common consensus that was religion was man’s invention, to which I stated, “Amen”..”That is absolutely correct.”
    Everyone was shocked. Here was a devout Christian stating that religion is man’s invention. Why?
    Then I clarified. “If Christianity was meant to be a religion, I would not be a Christian. Religion is man’s quest for spiritual meaning and his quest to find God. The whole premise of Christianity is God coming down to our level. It’s God’s quest for mankind. Christ didn’t come to form a religion. He came mend the relationship in between man and God. Christianity is all about relationship. Not religion.”

    Well the topic soon turned to something else. But there, I was able to sow a seed into the hearts of those around me.

    1. Always be prepared to give answer…. wow wow wow. what a powerful quote. i’ve never heard that one before and I’m struck with how incredibly profound that is. and WOW – your response at brunch gave me chills. That is SO TRUE, and so well stated. It’s Christ coming to mend the relationship between man and God. WOW. Jesus really is the new Adam. Way to go for sowing that seed! that took courage, and dare I say you did one heck of a job!!!! thanks for sharing that. cheering for you! Hugs and love xox

  13. You’re right – we all resemble Peter in our frailty, and God is always ready to forgive and guide us on the next step of our journey. Thank you, God!
    And thank you, Caralyn, for your faithful witness in your blog. I wish you and your special gentleman a peaceful and blessed Easter.

    1. Hi Penny! thank you for sharing your heart on this. You’re so right – God is ALWAYS ready to forgive. His life changing mercy and love are why we’re here today. what an incredible gift. thank you! same to you and yours! Hugs and love xox

  14. Like most Christians, I’m a little bit Peter and a little bit Paul. And, like both, I yearn to be a lot more like my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. One day at a time.

    1. Thank you Rollie for sharing your heart like this. yes – one day at a time. and in the meantime, how amazing that we have a God that pours our his mercy and love on us like a super soaker! Hugs and love xox

  15. Hey, it’s Joy. Yes, I’m back! And yet again, Awesome post! I believe that most of us are at least a little bit like Peter, who tries so hard only make the biggest mistake of his life! We’ve all been there – at least I know I have!
    I think things will start opening up soon – at least they already have here in the south. You and your family are in my prayers! Thanks again for posting this, it was spot-on! I hope you have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!

    P.S. I just wanted to share this link to my online store. I have recently begun designing wedding invitations, suites, favors, etc. in addition to the many other items I carry. if you know of anyone planning a wedding, or looking for new baby gifts, Mother’s day gifts, etc. please tell them about my online Zazzle shop, “A New View”

    https://www.zazzle.com/store/a_new_view?rf=238984951941807304

    1. Hi Joy! Oh gosh thank you so much. You’re so right – we’ve all been there! Oh that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing! Will have to check it out. Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Amy! How was the lasagna?! Thanks again for sharing your success! It was so fun to see your cooking adventure!! Thanks for this reflection – you’re absolutely right – we can ALL be redeemed! How blessed are we to have such a loving Father. You too, have a blessed Holy Week! Hugs and love xox

  16. 🙂Thanks for sharing this wonderful insight. The core significance of Christ’s death and resurrection is to redeem us from the consequences of disobedience of which we all inherited. Jesus has not come to condemn the world but to save the world. God bless you.

    1. Thank you so much Chris! You’re so right – He came to save the world, and how grateful am I for that truth! Hugs and love xox

  17. I also love how Jesus, after His resurrection, made a point to ask Peter THREE times if he loved Him because He knew Peter’s grief over his denial of him was fresh on his heart and mind (John 21: 15-17). Note the two different Greek words for love used by Peter and Jesus…agape and phileo (an important point lost when translated into English) In Peter’s newly humbled state he dared not use the word agape. But I do believe this exchange is what helped Peter to “live with himself” and step into his calling. It really touches my heart to see how Jesus was sure to lift Peter up and reassure him.

    I’m sure there’s so much more meaning to these verses; so many nuggets I have yet to discover…the studying never ends!

    1. That’s so true Mindy!! I forgot that part of the story!!!! Oh my gosh!!! That just proves ALL THE MORE of how loving, and merciful and forgiving Jesus is. Wow. That is a mind-blower right there. Thank you for blessing me with that! Praying you have a blessed Holy Week! Hugs and love xox

  18. Yes, hard to believe, one year later
    😓

    An important story to meditate on, ahead of Good Friday

    Yes, Peter’s story wasn’t over…
    And neither is ours,
    … because of Easter Sunday

    Grace
    *Amen*, joining you in the prayer

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it. Have a blessed Holy Week! Hugs and love xox

  19. What a great message! “I am Peter.” I will be thinking on that a lot today. So easy to say “how could he do that?” Thanks or reminding me of my own failures – but also the assurance that God forgives and can use us in spite of our failures. Have a great Easter with your “special gentleman.” I am glad God has brought him into your life.

    1. Thank you friend!! I so appreciate you sharing in the joy with me! Same to you – have a blessed Easter! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Colleen for sharing your heart. amen – God’s grace is bigger indeed! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you for sharing your heart, friend. Amen – and what an encouragement that Jesus is our ultimate redeemer! Hugs and love xox

    1. thanks Steve for sharing your heart. amen – me – desperate need for His forgiveness right here! We have such a good good Father. Hugs and love xox

  20. I enjoyed your Holy Week column! Such a special time in our spiritual lives. Our parish has traditionally rich liturgies Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday. But today we had bad news: Ontario government imposed a four-week (minimum) ’emergency brake’ due to surging, 3rd wave COVID-19 numbers. One of the measures limits church attendance to 15 percent capacity (from the current 30 percent) which for us means attendance of about 50 per service. So sad.
    My best wishes to you, your special gentleman, and your family for a happy and blessed Easter! And keep writing those great columns!

    1. thank you so much! yes, Holy Week is such a beautiful and powerful reset. oh no!! i’m so sorry to hear that – praying for you!! Hugs and love xox

  21. Powerful and encouraging post, Caralyn. As we are always prone to be Peters, it’s so comforting to know that he is always Jesus, forgiving us and welcoming us back. Again, great post.

    1. Thank you Mike! Yes – we are all Peter! And amen – Jesus is the ultimate forgiver and redeemer!! Hugs and love xox

  22. I’m am Peter, too! So powerful! I do so very appreciate that He has given us Peter’s story as encouragement and instruction. I hope your Easter is especially poignant this year and filled with joy, in spite of the craziness! ❣️✝️🙌🏻

    1. thank you so much! amen – there is so much hope in Jesus’ forgiving and merciful heart in Peter’s story! Hugs and love xox

  23. My first name is Peter too. I read this story the day it released.

    I have had guilt for saying I was going to do something biblical but I didn’t follow up and chosed my own path in result.

    1. thank you so much Peter 🙂 I’m so glad this resonated with you so personally! Hugs and love xox

  24. “Every slip of a bad word, or jealous or lustful thought…my laundry list of sins on a daily basis are a mile long.” So very true wow. This really made me realize how much MORE I need Jesus and His grace everyday in my life. I know when I slip cause I get convicted right away and I apologize to Him or moreover repent immediately and ask Him to help me be more like Him. This really encouraged me deeply spiritually, emotionally and mentally. <3 You are a blessing and continue to allow the Lord to write through you for His glory in Jesus name! Blessings and great peace to you and your loved ones! 💛💖💛

  25. Catching up on my blog-reading (once again, ugh,) so get ready to hear from me repeatedly….giggles! I have always loved that almost immediately following the resurrection Jesus asks Peter 3 times “Do you love me?” Each time Peter repeats, “Lord, you know that I love you” atones for Peter’s 3 denials. Jesus knew Peter NEEDED this…if only to move from the phileo love of friendship to the deep agape love we are all called to give unconditionally. Hugs to you as you continue to move in, with, and through that agape experience with Him. (How beautiful for you too, to be sharing this experience with your gentleman friend.😉)

    1. Hi Dawn! How are you friend!?! I can’t count the number of times you’ve crossed my mind recently! i hope things are well with you! Oh my gosh, you’re too funny. And YES! Jesus’ actions doing that were more for Peter than for Himself – What an incredible Savior we have 🙂 and yes! – it really is a beautiful thing 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      1. Aw, so sweet to hear I’ve been thought of – especially by you. 💕 It would appear your life is overflowing with great JOY!!! Please know that I am tickled to be celebrating beside you, from afar. Continue to embrace the goodness He is showering down upon you, sweet Caralyn! And hugs to you for sharing slices of it with all of us in cyber-space! 💕💕

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