(St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Religious)
After John the Baptist’s declaration that Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” the long-awaited Messiah, two of his disciples left John and followed Jesus. Andrew, one of the two, sought out his own brother Simon and told him, “We have found the Messiah,” which is translated Christ. Then he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you will be called Cephas,” which is translated Peter. Jn 1:35-42
Nicknames are funny things. Very often we are given nicknames when we’re young, or even as we grow up and join different groups. The nickname might represent something we did or how we look to others. Those nicknames could burden us through our lives, and sometimes we just might like to burn away that era of the past and start anew.
In Biblical times, nicknames were more often given to represent a significant change in one’s life. Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel and Simon bar-John became Peter, the Rock. And upon that “Rock” Jesus built His Church. Jesus could see in this rather boisterous young man the potential to organize, to befriend and to build upon the teachings he would receive from Jesus over the next three years. And despite many setbacks, build he did. Peter is considered the very first Pope in the Church Jesus started. And that Catholic Church still stands today, 2000 years later.
Praise be to God, beloved. And thanks to Peter who assisted Jesus in His Heavenly mission!
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