The character Tevye from Fiddler of the Roof is a great example of Peter’s response to Jesus: Lord, to who else shall we go? Through out the entire play, Tevye has an ongoing conversation with God, even to the point of questioning why God is doing some of things that are happening in life. He asks honest questions yet choose to remain faithful to God. Peter is really saying the same thing. There is no other person but Jesus who will constantly be there; even in the darkest of moments.
We need to ask our self’s: Why?
- Why continue to believe even when it is tough?
- Why stay faithful when it seems God is silent?
- Why pray when our prayer is not answered the way we want?
Peter and Tevye show us the how to pray like this. We must have a living relationship with God. Both teach us that key component is prayer; but, not just reciting the prayers someone else wrote. The most authentic prayer is the ongoing conversation with God that includes everything we are going through out the day.
- Our cars can become a chapel;
- our desks at school or at work can become Mountain of transfiguration
when our prayer leads to insight,
- standing next to someone who is serious ill or struggling with an addiction or having a tough time can become Calvary
- and every joy and good thing becomes an experience of Easter morning.
To choose to follow God, to realize that as Christians we have no one else to go through but Jesus, and like Tevye who was honest with God like an old friend, then and only then, will the church be rebuilt!
As disciples of Jesus, we must develop this deep prayer. Prayer is adialogue by its very nature. For many Catholics, this is a unique approach. We are taught our prayers and we say them. The traditional prayers of the our faith are essential, but like Tevye who knew the prayers of the Jewish people, he continues his prayer outside the synagogue by this ongoing conversation. I believe in the traditional prayers of our church because they give us words when we don’t have any; but they must lead us into the ongoing dialogue between our hearts and God’s.
For me, this is the first step in rebuilding the Church. Each one of us including the Pope, every Bishop, every priest and deacon, every Catholic must echo the word’s St Peter: Lord, to who else can we go? Then and only then will the Church begin again.
Lord Jesus, we, your broken and hurting Church, stand before you today laying bear the pain, the hurt, the mistrust in our leaders, the sorrow for those abused, and our doubts. Lord, we have no one else to go to. You alone have the words of life. Give us the grace to reform your church in your image so that we may become your Body, broken and in pain, but also renewed by the healing light of your Resurrection. Lord, heal us your people.