Tuesday of Holy Week | iPray with the Gospel
Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times.
John 13:21-33, 36-38
Oh, Peter! You loved but you were weak. You trusted too much in yourself. You used the sword against the High Priest’s guard but trembled before a little servant. Peter, the Rock, head of the apostles, to save your own skin you swore and denied Jesus three times. You could say: ‘I was not the only coward that night!‘ Certainly. Matthew and Mark’s Gospels explain that the other disciples also said they would die with Jesus but, all except John, abandoned Him.
But your conversion, Peter, comforts me. Because I have also said to Jesus many times that I love Him and I have later turned my back on Him too. At times I thought that I could overcome a vice or would never commit a particular sin again… I have told Jesus often: ‘I’ll never do that again!‘ and a little bit later I did it again… But you, Peter, giving witness to Jesus in front of three thousand, standing in front of the Sanhedrin defending Jesus, locked in prison many times, persecuted… you comfort me. For you are the same Peter who had denied Jesus three times and had been afraid of a little servant – yet you became the stronghold of Christianity.
Your conversion happened with a Look from Our Lord. You, Peter, never forgot those beautiful Eyes of Jesus looking at you with sorrow and disappointment. That Look remained with you for the rest of your life. Those Eyes which saw your own eyes weep with sorrow. Those eyes which saw you giving witness to Jesus Crucified. Those Eyes saw you hanging on a cross upside down, faithful, firm, strong like a Rock! Those Eyes received you in Heaven with a satisfied and loving smile. Yes, Peter, you failed but your contrition made you greater than ever! Peter, going to Our Lady for consolation, as you surely did, help me to learn the lesson: “Lord, You know everything”, you know my miseries… but “You know that I love You!”
This article originally appeared on www.ipraywiththegospel.org. Reprinted with permission. Copyright © George Boronat.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).