The Tempest

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22 February 2018

The opening prayer for today’s Mass is somewhat arresting:

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that no tempests may disturb us,
for you have set us fast
on the rock of the Apostle Peter’s confession of faith.

Lent is interrupted in some fashion today with the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. We take note the language of the prayer. It speaks of “tempests” and the “rock” of Peter’s faith.

Shakespeare wrote a brilliant play called The Tempest. Beethoven’s wrote a sublime piece of music called The Tempest. Closer to home, Patrick White wrote his novel The Eye of the Storm:

If only you could describe your storm; but you could not. You can never convey in words the utmost in experience. Whatever is given you to live, you alone live, and re-live, till it is gasped out of you.

There it is! Life is an adventure with plenty of thrills and spills. At times we feel like we’re in the middle of a tempest – a storm that is fierce and relentless.

What to do? Our prayer suggests that we let ourselves be “set fast on the rock of Peter’s profession of faith.” Peter professed the divinity of Jesus. It was revealed to him by the Father. It was more than helpful!

Amidst all the trials, tribulations and tempests of life we simply pray:

Lord God, reveal to us, once again, the true identity of Jesus so that we might know and love him amidst the joyful and sorrowful struggles of life.


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