Are we all familiar with the old saying If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right? Have we all heard that G.K. Chesterton, the very famous British author, theologian, philosopher and writer of the Father Brown Mystery series, have a little different take on it. He said If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly because the value is in the doing.
Now, how many of us want to be perfect disciples? You know, following the Lord and everything you said and did doing it absolutely right. Never making a mistake. Are there any perfect disciples here this morning? Are perfect. It’s a very tricky thing. Now it’s very interesting. Who remembers last week’s gospel? Now you’re saying, I don’t even remember what I have for breakfast.
And you want me to remember what was last Sunday’s gospel? Last Sunday’s gospel. Peter gets it right. Peter gets it perfectly. Jesus says to his disciples last week, Who do people say, I am, John? And they answer, Well, some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, some Jeremiah. But Peter says, You are the Messiah, the son of the living God.
Peter gets it perfect. And then we have this week’s gospel where Peter absolutely gets it wrong. Peter says, You can’t suffer. You can’t die. What are you talking about? And what does Jesus say? Get behind me, Satan. Peter gets it absolutely wrong. The following week he gets it right, he gets it wrong. He’s being human. And notice, Jesus in both times doesn’t say, Get away from me.
Go away. Jesus keeps Peter by himself. Last week, Peter is given the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus doesn’t take them away this week. Peter still has them. Well, in baptism, each and every one of us is called to be a prophet. Like we heard in today’s first reading. And for those who have studied the prophets, you know, it never works out well for them, especially not for Jeremiah.
He ends up at the bottom of a system. But whether the prophets get it right or wrong, they are still prophets of the Lord God. And each one of us is called to be a prophet for our contemporary world. We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to be prophets proclaiming the will of God to the world.
Now, how do we do that? By being the apostles of today, to being the Church of Jesus Christ sent into the world to preach a gospel of love, of peace and of reconciliation, healing. Now we are called to be prophets and apostles, disciples in the 21st century. How do we gain the grace and the strength to do that?
The Eucharist, when we gather as a church to be nourished on the body and blood of Christ, we are literally witnessing the miracle, the miracle of ordinary bread and wine becoming for us. Food come down from heaven. It is for us the food that gives us strength to be prophets. Even though the world may not want to hear that, we have to say.
And it gives us the strength, if we have to, to end up at the bottom of a well. It gives us the strength to be apostles like Peter, who stand by the side of Jesus. Doom was given the keys of the kingdom. We stand with our church to be a living witness of faith in Jesus Christ. Apostles, disciples.
How, through the strength of the Eucharist. And so now we are going to be witnessing that miracle bread and wine that become the body and blood of Christ. Why? So that we can go through the doors of the church back into the world, strengthened with a prophetic voice with hearts of the apostles to change the world? Not perfectly, but as living witnesses, because it is worth doing.
Well, G.K. Chesterton would say worth doing. Leave him poorly, but I think were able to do it really well. And so you’ll notice in the Bulletin this week and at the doors of the church, a poster about our Eucharistic revival that our diocese is going to be celebrating in a month. It is an opportunity for us as a diocese to share our prophetic voice, to be living witnesses of faith in Coney Island, in the city of Brooklyn, in the state of New York.
Why? Because we’re going to try and do it. Well, because we do it in the name of Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever