God being grieved at his heart and Peter’s words as our sense of the ‘real’ (Genesis 6,5;Matthew 16,13-end) /BCP Tuesday after Septuagesima Sunday, Matins/
The state of the human family before the flood ‘grieved God at his heart’. We are part of this flood of sin. We should be deeply moved by God’s words and take responsibility for our actions. God’s redemptive presence is among us: we should feel that God – just as the defects and potentials of our life – is real. In this sense, the story of the flood is an important reflection on our task of ‘recovering the sense of the Real’. Taking responsibility for our history, and within it our personal story, awakens us from empty cyber-dreams (wasting the time of the human heart) into Reality.
Peter’s words can also be read in view of this task. Then, his words are a crucial resource in recovering reality, as the very ground of our faith. We need the sense of living in a real world, in a real time, in the matrix of real responsibilities, with the sense of being real and our neighbours are also being real (fully present) for us.
‘Jesus saith unto them: But whom say ye that I am? And Simeon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Actually, Peter’s words were the birth of ‘the real’. Through this confession the fragments of life are pieced together. Reality does not evaporate, but becomes one and undivided by these words. This is the sure foundation, always knowing that God’s redemption is real in Jesus, upon which our life is based. The life of individual Christians and that of the community is rooted in and nourished by this Root. ‘Thou art the Christ! The Son of the living God!’ We need to live from this Presence, the Reality of God.
Jesus’ words which follow upon this passage, speaks of his coming suffering. He reveals further what is at the heart of ‘the real’: God’s grace and compassionate life among us.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..