I often hate the Apostle Peter. Hate would be too strong a word if I hated Peter as a person, but I don’t. The times I hate Peter, it’s for what he represents as key-holder of the Church, not for who he is as a bearded Galilean fisherman.
I hate Peter at the Transfiguration when he literally tries to put God in a box. I hate Peter when he tells Jesus to go back to school after the crucifixion is foretold. I hate Peter when he wants to sacrifice the present of the elderly for the future of the young. I hate all the acts of assertive cowardice Peter performs that the Church still performs today. But there are times when I can’t hate Peter without also hating myself, because I know I would commit the same sin, the same denial, the same systematic doubt institutionalized into dogma. For instance, I would stand with Peter in the boat and tell Jesus he doesn’t fully understand what we have to deal with, that this is harder than it looks. I would steady myself against the rocking of the boat and tell Jesus that we are professionals.
Let’s back up just a bit. Continue reading