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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Peter's Complaint

"Peter began to say to Jesus, 'We have given up everything and followed you.'" Mk 10:28

It is natural to complain from time to time about the treatment we receive from God, and it is good to express this in prayer. Unless we learn how to speak of our disappointment to God as if to a good friend, and to search more deeply within ourselves and our relationships for a fuller understanding and acceptance of our own faults and gifts, we will never really know the depths of God's love.

More often than not, our hurts and complaints about life and our relationships are reflections of unmet expectations. We expect our friends and God to be there when we need them in ways we understand or determine, and often we want our friends and God to take away our suffering and free us from ourselves as if my magic. In truth, this is not good for us, nor is it good when we try to do it for others. Real friends accompany and support, they don't try to fix us. Neither does God, because in our struggle to pray through life with faith, we learn who we really are and hope returns.

Today's gospel finds Peter complaining to Jesus about everything he and the apostles have had to give up to follow him, and though Peter doesn't get the words out, we suspect that he is wondering what reward he and the disciples will receive for their efforts. When Jesus assures Peter that all who let go of home, friends, family, and culture, will receive a hundred times as much, Peter seems satisfied. However, it will take time for Peter (and us) to understand that the hundredfold Jesus promises is not what he expects. In letting go into the arms of God, we receive the gift of the church, Christ's body, a community of billions of people to accompany us through life. Indeed, the hundredfold is more than we could ever imagine!

Today, try not to complain. Be grateful for those who walk with you in faith.

How do you manage your unmet expectations of God?

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