Preface

This journey is like many journeys. Filled with sorrow, suffering, pits of despair, energizing mountain climbs, devastating falls, peaceful respites, and pleasant inns along the way. I liken this journey to that of the shore of Galilee, where Jesus appeared on the beach after his resurrection. Peter and the other disciples were out fishing. Peter had just denied Christ several times and ran away in despair with most of the other disciples. Jesus calls to them from the beach. Peter recognizes Christ and jumps out of the boat. A reconciliation is made and Christ tells Peter to feed and tend his sheep and to follow Christ. The journey with Christ is wrought with many joys, but also much sorrow and suffering. The Galilean beach is significant to me. It is where Christ tells his disciple to follow Christ in the mission of establishing the church and enduring much of the same things Christ endured to his death. But in suffering there is sanctification and glory. We are taught to love one another and to love God above all things. On the beach in Tiberias, where Jesus met his disciples on the Galilean shore, now stands a Franciscan chapel called the Primacy of Peter. A metal statue stands near the beach that depicts Peter kneeling and Jesus, with staff in hand (the Good Shepherd), extending his hand in blessing. I too met Jesus in humility, brought low, to receive grace, to receive Jesus Christ to carry the message of the gospel to the world.

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