Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now, but later you will follow.” Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can’t I follow You now? I will give my life for You. Jesus replied, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow until you have denied me three times. [Jn 13: 36-38]
Long-suffering and fragility shine in Peter. He is ready to give his life for Jesus, but also to deny Him in order to save himself. It is a contrast that is also inherent in each of us. We are ready to do what is good and what is right, but we are also blocked by fear of the price to be paid. Only humble awareness of our handicaps helps us not to be surprised by fear in the moment of trial. Peter, only after acknowledging and crying over his denial, will he be ready to give his life for the Master.
How we are like Peter,
We are your fearful students
who don’t know how to stay by your side
at the time of trial.
How easy it is to deny you
how dangerous it is to claim to be a friend!
How easy it is to cheat on you
when something is offered to us
which seems worth more than you.
Don’t leave us in temptation.
Forgive us and trust us again if we’ve done wrong.