what do YOU say ?

Sep 24, 2021


Take a moment to savour the image above. It’s Peter on his way to the tomb of Jesus on the morning of the resurrection.

What do you notice in the image?

I’ve used it before. It’s one of my favourite pictures, and every time I savour it I notice something different.

Today I noticed the sense of haste conveyed by the artist showing the wind-swept hair of Peter (and John in front of him) indicating them running at great speed to see for themselves if what the women told them was true. Is the tomb really empty? Has Jesus really broken through the death barrier?

And I notice too the gaze in Peter’s eyes. Peter, the one who just a few weeks before had given the ultimate confession of faith “You are the Christ.”

Peter’s gaze, of eager anticipation, excitement, and nervousness that if the news brought by the women was correct he would have to face the one he had let down.

But in today’s gospel we are a few months before the suffering and death of Jesus. Peter knew the talk about town regarding Jesus: “some say you are…”  But when Jesus presses Peter for a personal, heart-felt confession of love the hapless often helpless Peter doesn’t hesitate: “You are the Christ.”

Of course Peter will go on to deny Jesus. Peter is all over the place. But then so am I when it comes to what and who and when I follow.

I often turn to Pope Benedict’s three volume gospel commentary “Jesus of Nazareth” when I seek to get inside the mind and heart of Jesus’ words and actions.  I add excerpts from his reflection below. You might find them helpful.


A sneak preview…with a request

  • These daily Lockdown reflections will conclude this Sunday 26 September. Then, after a few days break, on Friday 1 October I will offer brief daily reflections on the Rosary (October is remembered as the “Month of the Rosary”) as an ecumenical prayer, taking one set of the four Mysteries each week. We often think of the Rosary as a bit of an old-fashioned prayer, but I will present the Rosary as an active engagement with central events in the life of Jesus and his disciples. On Sunday of each week I will introduce the Mystery (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, Glorious) and Monday – Friday of that week we will reflect on each of the five decades. It is an ambitious project, but I sense the opportunity for a step in faith for Food For Faith here. More information on Sunday with info on how you can sign up to receive these daily October reflections and accompanying Rosary podcast.
  • Until then here’s how you can help: I need recordings of you, your household, your family, school group, friends, prayer group, praying one decade of the Rosary – beginning with Our Father, the ten Hail Marys, Glory Be and concluding with O My Jesus… That’s all. I’d love to have a diversity of people, groups, ages etc to use for the project. So could you in the next two or three days make a recording on your phone and send to me at admin@fff.org.nz. Feel free to attach a photo of your group if you would like to but that is not essential. I appreciate your help with this – I think you might like the result!

“The Rosary,
though clearly Marian in character,
is at heart a Christocentric prayer.
In the sobriety of its elements,
it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety,
of which it can be said to be a compendium.
It is an echo of the prayer of Mary,
her perennial Magnificat 
for the work of the redemptive Incarnation
which began in her virginal womb.
With the Rosary,
the Christian people 
sits at the school of Mary

and is led to contemplate the beauty
on the face of Christ
and to experience the depths of his love.”
John Paul II


Pope Emeritus Benedict reflecting on Peter’s Confession of Faith in Jesus of Nazareth – From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration.


  1. Yea to Rosary reflections!
    Mary will help you.

    • Amen beautiful
      reflection of the Rosary Amen

  2. I love the picture of Peter and John – for me it is worth a thousand words.

    The captivating image portrays the power of love and life and reminds me of the world acclaimed song by Bette Midler, “The Wind Beneath My Wings”.

    My prayer this morning is that we will all be blessed by the Divine Spirit within us and through all things. … The Wind Beneath My Wings. +

  3. I love this picture of John and Peter it gives me great deep thoughts. I also love the Rosary, as I grew it was the nightly prayer for our family.

  4. Thanks, John.
    To Work! says Haggai.
    An older natal family member found work helped to deal with the grief of immigrating half a world away from the mid-1950s until the first visit home after twelve years absence, a rare phonecall, and letters that took four then two weeks in those days to arrive. I appreciate an earlier comment this week to go out. We are/ I am, together, sent to rebuild the temple of our communities, to proclaim and live the Christ of God. Thanks John for this inspiration to remain committed to our task today with the One who is alive.

  5. A beautiful picture of Peter and John. I was struck by Peter’s furrowed brow and how focussed his eyes were.

  6. I think Peter looks concerned and worried with a hint of anticipation of what he’ll find.
    Looking forward to your Rosary reflections as I have only started praying the Rosary nine months ago, even though I’m a cradle Catholic. I have been struggling with it, but feel I will discover more if I stick with it. So your reflections will be timely for me. Interestingly, I have knowledge of the Rosary, but not knowledge from experience of praying the Rosary.

  7. The look of AMAZEMENT
    on Peter’s face,is only”
    A Fragment of what we can
    The painting does have SO
    many different takes to it,
    A Tapestry.


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