Yesterday’s Gospel reading has Jesus at the Last Supper talking to Judas, the one who betrayed him, and Peter, who out of fear denied that he knew Jesus three times.
Judas recognised the enormity of what he had done in betraying Jesus and took his own life.
Peter also recognised that he had let Jesus down by denying that that he knew him. He then wept bitterly.
Both had been chosen by Jesus as apostles. They were core leaders of his group of disciples. He had seen good qualities in them. Both also had human weaknesses.
Peter recognised his mistake, allowed himself to be rehabilitated by Jesus and became the leader of the early Church community. He was a good man but one who often made mistakes. Jesus never gave up on him. We now call him Saint Peter.
Jesus would have also been there for Judas if only he had given Jesus a chance.
Of course, God’s love is bigger than anything and hopefully Judas ended up within the embrace of God anyway, making that final choice, even at his death to allow himself to be loved.
Human beings are prone to making mistakes. I am not suggesting that we settle for mediocrity in our lives, that is to settle for half measures. Jesus did say, be you ‘perfect’ as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Can anyone be perfect? Of course not, however, we need to make commitments to continue choosing to grow, not to give up. Even when we make mistakes, by recognising these mistakes, we can, with God’s help learn from them, and keep on trying to be true to our ideals and to what we know to be right.
It’s all about love and healing. We are deeply and unconditionally loved by God. This realisation helps us not to give up on ourselves and on others.
It was his ability to love and be loved that empowered Peter not to give up and become who he was called to be.
God bless you today.
+Bishop Charles Gauci
Bishop of Darwin