“Once again he denied it. A little later the bystanders said to Peter once more, "Surely you are one of them; for you too are a Galilean." He began to curse and to swear, "I do not know this man about whom you are talking."
And immediately a cock crowed a second time. Then Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice you will deny me three times." He broke down and wept” (Mk 14: 70-72).
As Jesus had foreseen (Mk 14:27), all his disciples abandoned him in the garden and fled (Mk 14:50). And as he had predicted, even Peter denied him three times (verses 66-72). Peter's tears (v. 72) encourage the Christians of Mark's community if they are not faithful disciples: if Jesus has mercy with Peter, he will also have mercy towards them.
“He (Peter) loved the Saviour [...], nevertheless he ceased for one instant to love his Master more than his own honour and his own life and then he stumbled, hesitated and finally fell into the crime of shameful denial. But Jesus looked at him and Peter was immediately converted. [...]. If we have had some failings, in the darkness of the night, we have sometimes offended the Lord, let us not cease, by our tears of repentance, wiping out the deviation of a moment” (De Brésillac, Retreat to missionaries, p. 220).
“Like Peter, we often deny Christ. When I live my priesthood in lie, it is a way of saying: ‘I do not know the man’, who says to me “I am ... the Truth”. It is the same, when centred on myself, I filter everything in relation to my interests, often at the risk of taking my will for the will of God. Jesus continues to pass through our missions. “Whenever you did it to one of these little ones (...) you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). In protecting my honour, how many times have I refused to recognize Jesus in this confrere, in this man, in this woman who needed my attention? One of the root causes of our denials is fear. A popular wisdom says, “Fear knocked on the door, Love responded and there was no one at the door”. Thus, where there is Love, fear disappears. If, therefore, by fear due to my inner insecurities, I deny the Lord, it is a sign that I do not love enough the one I affirm having given my life to serve. If I do not love him enough, it would mean that I do not let myself be loved by Him and if I do not let myself be loved by Him, it is because I do not let myself be looked at by Him as I am.
Like Peter, let us overcome our fears and allow the look of Love of Christ to penetrate us and awaken within us the Love that drives us to serve Him faithfully.
Question: If I were detached of myself, where would the fear that drives me to the denial of Christ be?”
Fr. Michel Savadogo Pingdewinde, SMA
Executive Director of Réseau Shalom de Transformation
de Conflit et de Réconciliation, REST-COR.
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