We All Fail Sometimes

There's a tradition which says that the Apostle Peter was in Rome when the Emperor Nero started a savage persecution of the Christian Church in 64 AD. Rome was on fire, and Peter started walking away from the burning ruins. He set out along the Appian Way, an old man now, weary from all his journeying, when Jesus met him, going back in the direction of the city.

'Quo vadis, Domine?' ('Where are you going, Lord?') Peter asked Jesus. 'I go to Rome to die for you,' came the reply. Peter, we're told, stopped and turned round slowly, and this time he didn't fail: he went back to Rome and death. Indeed when they came to crucify him, he asked to be executed upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same position as his Lord.

God's call - it's worth reflecting on the character of the disciple whom Jesus called to be the founder of His Church.

Peter wasn't one of those superhuman perfect beings who make you feel inferior as you contemplate their holiness and upright behaviour. In fact, Peter didn't make a very good Christian, and the Bible doesn't try to pretend otherwise. All through his life he was constantly failing, making a mess of things, letting down those he loved. Yet so often he picked himself up and carried on.

There are times when we all go through times of frustration and disillusionment. I think it's during those times in particular, I thank God for Peter, the one who despite his failures, never gave up the struggle.

Lord God, give us the persistence of Peter, that we may be brought daily nearer You, and fitted as may best be for the life of Heaven. Amen.



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