Scripture: John 13: 21 – 33; 36 – 38
“Before the cock crows you will have denied me three times”
Peter must have been absolutely aghast at Jesus’ response to his (Peter’s) words, “I will lay down my life for you”. He hears from Jesus the blunt statement, “Before the cock crows you will have denied me three times”. Not once, but three times!
As human beings we like to think that when the “chips are down”, we will have the courage and strength of character to rise to the occasion; to stand firm in the face of persecution; to be counted when it really matters. The truth is, however, that we are frail and weak and if we rely only on our own strength then we will often fail. Remember the saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”?
We began our Lenten journey filled with good intentions of walking every step of the journey to Calvary with Jesus. “This time I will die to self; this time I will do this … that… or the other!” Now, when the journey is almost at an end and we are about to recall the last three days of Jesus’ life on earth, we look back over the past five weeks and assess whether we were successful in our intentions or not.
Every time I have turned away from someone in need, refused to do the loving thing, I have “denied” Jesus. Peter’s three times seem very few by comparison!
Yet it is still not too late. Jesus, even while on the Cross, dying in agony, was able to say, with all the LOVE He had come to share, “Father, forgive them,”. So, let us resolve to walk this final part of the journey to Calvary with Him, asking for His strength, and His courage to see it through to the end – this Easter and our own personal Easter.
Think about how you have “denied Jesus” over the past few weeks. Attend the Penitential Service tonight and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Then commit to attending the services over the Triduum, starting on Holy Thursday and ending with the first Mass of Easter.
Forgive me, Lord, for all the times that I have turned away from You and denied Your presence in others. Strengthen my faith, and give me the grace of Your Holy Spirit that I may be a committed and faithful witness to You.