Grace and Peace to you.
Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”
Simon Peter answered him, ”Lord, to whom can we go?
You have the words of eternal life.”
Jesus has said too much. He does, sometimes. But it’s because he cares. Now they’re taken aback, bewildered, unsure. Again. But this isn’t a moment for the confident master to teach his befuddled neophytes. Jesus is the vulnerable one, needy and alone. He actually loves these people, and wants the whole of life for them. And he needs them. He needs their friendship, and their help. For a moment the awful possibility occurs to him that he might be all alone. He doesn’t want assent. He wants friendship. He may even be, as he rarely is, a little afraid. In his need and uncertainty and longing he is most human, and most like how God comes among us. He asks them, not as a clever teaching device, but in an earnest query, because he does not know. “Are you going to leave me?” Jesus is the unsure one.
And Peter is not. He blurts out as he usually does, “Where else can we go?” Peter, too, is hungry for life, searching for love and wisdom, waiting for the Lord. And he is certain in this, clear and confident in his quest and faithful to it above all others. Peter knows. “Where would we go? Who else makes things in us that are dead come alive?” The Peter who fearfully but willingly climbs out of the boat to walk on waves with his Lord, climbs out again. His tender longing is his great strength. It is what Jesus needs. In his yearning humanity, Peter also is most like how God comes among us.
The rest of us standing around realize how much our hunger for life and love and God and each other is worth to us, and to God. How much we need each other; how graced we are to be given one another. Blessed are they who are longing, they fulfill God’s longing.
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