We adore You, O Christ, and bless You… because by Your holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. One of the maids came over to him and said, “You too were with Jesus the Galilean.” But he denied it in front of everyone, saying, “I do not know what you are talking about!” As he went out to the gate, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus the Nazorean.” Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” A little later the bystanders came over and said to Peter, “Surely you too are one of them; even your speech gives you away.” At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.Matthew 26: 69-75
How can faith be sustained in adversity?
When I read this, I am saddened by what Peter was going through in this moment of adversity. I am saddened because he betrayed Jesus, just when Jesus needed him the most… the man he loved, the man he left his family to follow and to serve.
I am saddened because I can only imagine how scared and afraid Peter was in that moment when he realized how very hard it was to follow Jesus and to do the right thing.
I am ultimately saddened because I see myself in Peter. I see all the times that I have betrayed Jesus in my life. The times that I have walked away from Him, knowingly, and not stood by Him or by His teachings. Like Peter hearing the crowing of the rooster, our conscience reminds us what is right and what is wrong. How often we, like Peter, chose to ignore it and to take the easier path.
But I also see within this story a message of love. Peter realized that he had sinned against Jesus, and he repented in his bitter tears of remorse. Jesus forgave Peter, and in this forgiveness, Peter returns to serve and glorify God… and through Jesus he built the Church on earth.
So, I see this with hope! I see that even after all my failures to follow Jesus, and the many times that I have denied Him, Jesus is a God of love who will welcome me back if I truly am repentant of my sins… and He will always be with me!
Lord, grant us the gift of honesty that we may not fear to speak the truth even when difficult. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be to the Father... Lord Jesus Christ, your passion and death is the sacrifice that unites heaven and earth, and reconciles all people to you. May we who have faithfully reflected on the mysteries of Your passion follow in your steps and so come to share your glory in heaven where you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen. Lord Jesus Christ... crucified... have mercy on us. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
By Javier Ubarri