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One of the doors was hinge-bound so I grabbed my chisel. Apparently, someone had used it as a crowbar. It was so dull that it couldn’t cut through pudding. No, I didn’t throw it out. I brought it to my father, who knows how to sharpen chisels. When I handed it to him, I lamented, “Just look at this.” He replied, “Every chisel that works hard gets dull. That is what happens. You just have to sharpen them.”
I cite my father because no one worked harder than the apostle Peter. When Jesus walked on the water, Peter was the only one of the disciples who jumped out of the boat to join his Lord. When Jesus asked his disciple who do “you” say that I am. Peter was the only one to raise his hand and answer Him. When Peter was in the boat and recognized that it was Jesus who stood on the shore, he was the only one who jumped in the water and swam to shore. Apparently, rowing the boat would take too long. When Peter heard that Jesus’ tomb was empty, he bolted out the door and ran. Only one other disciple accompanied him. Peter was the hardest worker, and that is why he was flawed. Peter admitted it. He slept in the garden when he was supposed to be praying; he denied Jesus when he was supposed to be defending Him. But that did not stop Peter from working hard. He knew that if he was close to the Sharpener, close to Christ, he would always be fine.
During the priestly sex abuse crises, I was invited to a Catholic college to promote vocations to the priesthood. I set up a table in the student cafeteria with giveaways, prayer cards, and lots of picture posters. Not one person came over to my table, not even to say hello. When I was about to leave, I heard a voice say, “Pedah, is that you.” I replied, “Amy?” It was my old girlfriend. When she approached me, I apologized for dumping her so I could go to the seminary. She answered, “That’s alright; don’t worry about it. I married a doctor.” After she told me about her beautiful home, her kids, her education, and her life journey, she stepped back and continued, “Just look at you; you’re a priest.” At that moment I was feeling the social stigma and the rejection of no one coming to my table, I replied, “Ya, I guess.” She then added: “Think of the people you are going to be able to help.” In other words, do not stop working hard.
Yes, we get beat up in life. The more we do, the more we wear down. Just look at Christ- the more He did, the more they beat on Him. He rose and He has never stopped working for us.
Jesus had a toolbox, and when he needed a chisel, He always picked Peter. Always. He gave Peter the keys to the kingdom; he made him the first pope, He picked Peter to see His transfiguration. Why Peter? He is flawed. Jesus chose Peter because Peter would never leave the Sharpener; he would never leave Christ.
We get beat up in life, but never stop working hard. We are always going to be alright if we stay close to our Sharpener–if we stay close to Christ.Back to All Homilies