I like St. Peter, because he reminds me so much of myself: a bonehead. And that gives me hope. If God can use a simple fisherman whose greatest talent seemed to be sticking his foot in his mouth, perhaps God can use me too.
The four gospels are filled with several examples of St. Peter screwing up or saying something foolish. Or, if not foolish, then rash and impetuous. After all, who else gave walking on water a try, just because he saw Jesus doing it? Or which of the other apostles argued with Jesus when Christ told them he was to be crucified? And who thumped his chest at the last supper and vowed that others might run away, but he never would? Let’s face it; St. Peter talked first and thought second.
And yet Peter was Jesus’ chosen one from the earliest times of his ministry. Peter, fast-talking, slow-thinking Peter, was selected to be the cornerstone of Christianity. The rock, upon which we all stand two thousand years later. After receiving the Holy Spirit, it was Peter who first stood up to the authorities, and who led the apostles in the creation of the church. Time and time again in the Acts of the Apostles, we see Peter opposing authorities regardless of the consequences, preaching the word of God, and leading his fellow disciples. St. Peter, the man who Jesus once referred to as, “Satan,” became the voice of God on Earth.
If God can do that with a simple fisherman, why would you ever think your life is hopeless? Just as God made Peter, He made you. Just as God had a purpose for Peter, He has a purpose for you. Like Peter, though, we have to accept that we are here to fulfill God’s purpose, not our own. Along with his shortcomings, Peter had the humility to accept that without God, he was nothing. With God, he could do anything.