On this feast day I find myself grateful for the wisdom of our Lord in preparing a leader for us. Jesus pauses alone with the twelve. The teacher poses questions. To the first—Who do people say that I am?—various responses ensue. The second question however is personal—Who do you say that I am? Peter alone is ready to respond;  he is aware of the truth and articulates it. Jesus anoints him and takes “fishers of men” to a new level. Peter is ready to provide leadership and strength.

In this moment I imagine awe and wonder.  His role of leader is set and the structure of the church begins to take shape. Two thousand years later we are inspired by Pope Francis, Peter’s successor, calling us to mercy.  Let us celebrate this feast by answering Jesus’ question. “Who do you say I am?”

Erin Maiorca is the Associate Director at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, Illinois where she is participating in a Spiritual Direction internship. Erin and her husband of 22 years have two sons, and their oldest attends St. Ignatius College Prep, Chicago IL.