This is one of those few weekends where there is a different set of readings for Saturday and Sunday. Let the liturgically astute among us be forewarned.
With two possible Gospel readings, one of my colleagues at school was surprised one of the options wasn’t the call of the fishermen. Saturday night some communities will read the John 21 episode of “Feed my sheep.” Sunday, of course, is Peter’s confession.
Are these the very best readings for the Church today? They certainly highlight Peter’s distinct role within the group of Apostles. (Sunday’s reading also leaves out the unique, “Get behind me!” rebuke from the Lord.)
But Peter’s response to the Lord’s call from the shore is no less remarkable. What faith it took to leave absolutely everything and follow the rabbi up the road.
As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the lake—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.’ Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20, NRSV)
Do we relate to a saint like Peter as a brother, a companion, someone like us? Or do we and does the Church see him as more of the other, the chief of the Apostles, and the first among leaders?
I ask these questions not because I necessarily would like to change the focus this weekend. I think the readings as given make perfect sense to me. But the Lectionary framers had reasons, I presume, for assigning as they did.