A little boy just celebrated his eighth birthday. When I asked him what he remembers of his birthday last year, he answered: “Last year, I received my first pair of long pants.” According to him, this new pair of pants was about six inches longer than his usual size. So he asked his mother to cut it short for him. His mother refused, saying: “Keep it that way. In no time it will fit you as you grow so fast.” Wanting to really have his pants cut short, he approached his elder sister and grandmother with the same request. Both offered some excuse not to do it for him.
With a heavy heart, he went to sleep, resigned with the fact that he will have to wear his pants longer than usual. As he was asleep, his mother saw his pants by his bed. Feeling guilty at having turned down the boy’s earlier request, she cut off six inches from it to fit his size. Afterwhich, she returned the pants by the boy’s bed. Then, his elder sister also happened to pass by. She saw the pants and felt guilty also so she cut off six inches from it as the boy had requested. The grandmother came in next and did the same thing as his mother and elder sister. The next day, on his birthday, he had a new pair of short pants! On that day also his mother, elder sister and grandmother felt even more guilty. Why? They knew that what they did for the boy was an effort that they did not think about. It was a careless effort.
We all do the same thing ourselves. We do things without much thought. We say things we do not mean. We make promises that we could hardly keep.
Peter and Paul were like that. We know how Peter said to the Lord: “Lord, I will never leave you.” And to that remark the Lord could only say: “Tomorrow, before the cock crows three times, you will deny Me three times.” And Paul? Paul was a dedicated Pharisee. He thought that in killing the first Christian he was doing God’s will.
Today we celebrate the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. However, we do not celebrate Peter and Paul’s faults and careless efforts. We celebrate the fact that despite our own carelessness and faults, God gives us new opportunities. Peter made a mistake. Paul committed the same. But God gave them another chance.
You may have committed so many sins. You may have made broken promises. You may have done things without reflecting. But there is always a second chance for you. I invite you to begin again and become great yourself.
Jesus In My Heart