How many times have you wondered why God allows things to happen? It could have to do with the happenings in our life, or our weather such as hurricanes, or tsimonies, or torandos. It could be with the people who come and out of our lives. It could be with leadership like who has been chosen to lead the Catholic Church or who will be chosen to lead our country. I might say that we are questioning the wisdom of God. Right?
In our first reading today God took away the job of Master of the Palace from Shebna and gave it to Eliakim because Shebna loved luxury, chaiots and was building a fancy tomb for himself, putting all those things ahead of loving God and concern for the people. It would seem that there was good reason for that change to come about.
In our Gospel reading Jesus gave the job of the Master of the Palace, the "keys to the kingdom of heaven" to Peter. Why would he do that? Hadn't Peter done and said multiple things which would question his capabilities. Remember what Peter said at the transfiguration: "Let us build three tents for you, Moses and Elijah." It seems that he felt he had to say something even though it sounded dumb. His response reminds me of a story in a fifth grade classroom where a teacher told a story of a man who was fishing not too far from the shore who somehow fell overboard and she said that his wife who knew he couldn't swim ran to the bank. She asked her students why she would have run to the bank and one girl raised her hand and said: "to draw out all of her money." I suppose the girl had raised her hand and felt she had to say something and the first thing that came to her mind. Sounds like the reason for St. Peter's response. He felt he had to say something.
A person might wonder why Jesus wouldn't have chosen someone better educated or more capable by human standards like St. Paul who is the author of our second reading. It isn't likely that Peter would never have been able to say as Paul wrote: "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! ... For who has know the mind of the Lord or who has been his counselor?"
But the historical facts are in and the Church that is based on Christ's teachings has survivied for 2000 years so we logically it can be concluded that Jesus's decision to give Peter the keys of the kingdom was a good one based on God's wisdom. Peter had been with him for three years, didn't always agree with Jesus but without question said the right thing when asked: "And who do you say that I am?" when he responded: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus' decision to call St. Paul to follow him after getting his attention was a good one and you and I are here to testify to that. It was Paul to was the apostle to the Gentiles, the non-Jews. Just as Paul said in the second reading: "Who can understand his decisions or explain what he does?
That's a great question for each of us as well, but based on our answer to the question to Peter: "Who do you say I am?", when we respond as Peter did: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.", how can we do anything but trust God even when we don't understand?
God gave Peter one role and another to Paul and he gives each of us our unique role. We have one common bond in Jesus and it is up to each of us in our own uniqueness to determine just how God wants us to be his apostles, sent out into our world to spread the message of Jesus, love of God and love of all neighbors. Each of our roles may and likely will change in the future but respecting the wisdom of God remember the saying:
"IF GOD BRINGS ME TO IT, HE WILL BRING ME THROUGH IT."