The Man I Preach
He looked at me and called me by name.
This man, he looked like any of us
But there was something about him I couldn’t see.
What did he know? What did he want with me?
And Jesus looking upon him, said: Thou art Simon the son of Jona.
Thou shalt be called Cephas,
which is interpreted Peter.
Who was he?
Who spoke with Elijah, who fed the thousands,
Who pulled me out of water,
Who healed the sick and calmed the storm?
Then I thought I knew – He was the Lord!
And Jesus answering said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona:
because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee,
but my Father who is in heaven.
Then he said he was leaving –
What did he mean, to eat his body and drink his blood?
What did he mean, bent before us to wash our feet?
And then I let him down.
Exactly as he had said that I would.
Why was this happening? Where was he going? Why did he say he had to die?
I couldn’t understand it.
I could only cry.
Jesus answered him: Wilt thou lay down thy life for me?
Amen, amen, I say to thee, the cock shall not crow,
till thou deny me thrice.
Then he died.
Would it have been different if I hadn’t denied him?
He was gone, and I no longer understood.
The sun rose and set as always
but each day was dark.
When would these dark days be over? What were we to do now?
But he came back!
And with him by us, we caught more than a boatload of fish!
Was it all well again? Had he forgotten what I had done?
Then he said to feed his sheep, and I knew –
He remembered but he loved me as he did the first day he called me.
And then he was lifted away and we waited.
But there were no more dark days
for we knew what he said would come to be.
And I send the promise of my Father upon you:
but stay you in the city
till you be endued with power from on high.
Then the Spirit came! And I understood –
the Lord is a servant, water becomes wine,
the dead have new life, blessed are the poor!
We had to go to the ends of the earth! The lambs had to be fed!
We had to tell the world: He is Lord – forever!
But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you
in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins.
And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Peter’s journey to Pentecost
Bible quotes from the Douay-Rheims Bible
Illustration by my talented niece JCT
Written for Spotlight (May 2013)