year, there is something about persistence that makes me think it is the most
important. The virtues of love, patience, forgiveness, faith, hope, service and
self-control all involve aspects of persistence. Jesus told a story about a man who built a house on sand and one who built a home on rock. When the rain came, the house on sand fell whereas the house built on rock withstood rains, wind, and a flood. If love, or faith, or hope for that matter,
is built on sand, as soon as challenges arise, the virtue falls. Building on
rock, in my mind, is like being persistent. It takes longer but also lasts longer.
Jesus renamed Peter. He called him Rocky, translated for us as
Peter. I’d like to call him Rocky instead of Peter as it would make him feel
more human to me. If you remember the movie, it’s about a boxer who wasn’t the
strongest fighter and didn’t have the most talent, but had a lot of heart. He
got knocked down but then would get right up again. Rocky was persistent. When
others would give up, he got up.
Peter got knocked down a lot. But he got right back up. After Jesus’ ascension, he was in prison for proclaiming the Good News and was waiting to be executed the next day. He fell asleep between two
jailers and was woken up by an angel. This angel had set him free. Rocky/Peter
got up and walked out of the jailhouse. In my mind, the theme song of Rocky was
playing, “Gonna’ fly now” as Peter ran up the steps to the open door of the
Sometimes our lives get a little rocky, including our spiritual
lives. Perhaps we should use Peter, the original Rocky, as an example to help us
get up when we get knocked down.
- Fr. Marshall