Tuesday, May 27, 2008

the works

Well, I dropped Mother General and her translator off at the airport (after a weekend that saw me working hard to revive my Italian!), and now I am working on...deadlines! But today's readings from the Mass have such an interesting connection, I couldn't resist sharing it.
In both, we hear the voice of Peter. The first reading is from the First Letter of Peter. It's advice for a beleaguered Christian community (or, more likely, a little chain of communities). Among other things, Peter encourages them "set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
In the Gospel, Peter is asking what he can hope for after leaving "everything" to follow Jesus.
In both instances, then, there is the sense of risking everything for the sake of Jesus: putting all one's hopes on the person of Jesus himself, so that if it were possible for Jesus to fail, the person would truly have nothing, nothing, nothing. I was reminded of venerable old Simeon from the Gospel of Luke: he hoped for nothing but "the consolation of Israel," and had been promised that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. That's why he could recognize the 40-day old Jesus as "the light of revelation to the nations." I can just imagine Peter, too, at the end of his long life, saying his "Nunc dimittis": "Now, Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace; you have fulfilled your word."

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