The school of faith is not a triumphal march Pope Benedict declared today in his general audience today, as he continued his catechesis dedicated to the personality of the Apostles, focusing again on the figure of Peter.
The General Audience was held on Saint Peters square with more than 35,000 people gathered to listen to the pope’s catechesis.
The Pope began by recalling the miracles of the loaves and the fishes. In this episode, “Jesus announced the cross, and with the cross the Eucharistic bread: His absolutely new way of being king."
As these episodes unfolded, “Peter's faith, was still a nascent faith, a developing faith. It would acquire true fullness only through his experience of the events of Easter. Nonetheless, Peter's impetuous generosity did not safeguard him from the risks of human weakness," the Pontiff continued.
"The school of faith is not a triumphal march but a road beset with suffering and with love, with trials and with faithfulness, to be renewed day after day."
Moreover, Pope Benedict underlined Peter's mission as head of the Church, "that mission was entrusted to him by the Risen Jesus," as St. John recounts.
The pope wished to explain the intentional use of words in the Gospel of Saint John in this dialogue between Peter and Jesus. "In Greek, the verb 'fileo' expresses the love of friendship, tender but not total, while the verb 'agapao' means unreserved, complete and unconditional love. The first time, Jesus asks Peter: 'Simon, do you love Me? (agapas-me?).' "
"Simon had understood that his poor love, the only one of which he was capable, was enough for Jesus. We could almost say that Jesus had adapted Himself to Peter, rather than Peter to Jesus."
"Peter came to trust himself to the Jesus Who had adapted Himself to his own poor capacity to love. Peter would describe himself as 'a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed," he concluded.