Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, though you will follow later.” Peter said to him, “Master, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” - Jn 13:36-38
Imagine the punch in the gut it was when Peter heard these words come from the mouth of Jesus, “Will you lay down your life for me? Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” This, in response to Peter’s zealous remark that he would lay down his life for his Master.Isn’t it amazing how little we know ourselves? After three years of working side-by-side with Jesus, Peter was convinced that he was ready to make the ultimate sacrifice. But Jesus saw his innermost heart and he knew that not only was he not ready, but he would also soon deny Him.
Our own journey of faith is often very similar to St. Peter’s. One minute we are filled with courage and zeal, ready to conquer the world for Christ, to be modern-day martyrs. But then, when we are challenged, even in the smallest way, fear overcomes faith, we cave, and we deny Jesus.
Thank you, Lord, for the example of St. Peter! His denial shows us that there is always hope. At the moment of truth, he denied his Lord, his very best friend. But instead of turning inward and losing hope, like Judas, He turned back to Jesus, begged forgiveness, and jumped back into his mission.
Jesus didn’t let Peter’s fall get in the way of selecting him for His most crucial commission, the role of being “the rock,” the prime minister and leader of the early Church. Our Lord knew he would fall. In some way, he knew we would need this example of an imperfect leader.
Aren’t we all imperfect leaders in one way or another? Whether we are leading our families or leading corporations, we are fallen individuals who are always pulled toward our concupiscence. But God does not want us to wallow in our woundedness. He has a mission for us, just as he did Peter. Let St. Peter’s example encourage you to move forward in faith and hope.
Please join us in this week’s Women of Grace Rosary Crusade. Let us be open to all that the Lord wants to do in us and through us this Holy Week, Triduum, and beyond.
May God bless you and your families! St. Peter, pray for us.