Peter is crucified
Today's Gospel (Mark 3:13-19):
'Jesus went up into the hills and summoned those he wanted. So they came to him and he appointed twelve; they were to be his companions and to be sent out to preach, with power to cast out devils. And so he appointed the Twelve: Simon to whom he gave the name Peter, James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges or ‘Sons of Thunder’; then Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, the man who was to betray him.'
Have you ever wondered why Jesus changed the names of some of his disciples? Why is it that Jesus feels the need to change the names of Simon, James and John and not the others?
In truth, we don't know why he doesn't change the names of the others but the reason as to why he changes Simon's name to Peter is something we can explore. Jimmy Akin surmises that Petros and Kephas are synonymous and both mean, more or less, "rock" or "stone". Indeed Kephas is a Grecised form of the Aramaic word 'Kepha' which is the term most likely used by Jesus to give Simon his new name. Kepha has the same meaning as Kephas and Petros i.e. rock or stone.
It must have been interesting to note the disciples' reaction to this change of name. Especially as time went on and Peter's character shone through. He was quite an uncertain character, unsteady at times, and even unfaithful. He was anything but a rock! Yet this is the name Jesus gave him because God had a greater plan for him.
You see, we cannot look into the future and know God's divine plan for us. Nobody could have known that this Simon was going to be the rock on which Christ would build his Church. A Church that has lasted the test of time and continues to thrive over two thousand years later. What an incredible feat of this man who, if it were today, no interview panel worth its salt would hire in order to build up an institution to serve the needs of billions of people.
Jesus knows our hearts. He knows our capabilities, our true strengths. And he will make perfect use of our lives so that we fit perfectly into the Divine Plan of God. We just have to trust in Jesus and trust that plan, just as Kepha did all those years ago. And where is Kepha now? In heaven with the Father.