Then Jesus told them, this very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But, after I have risen, I will go ahead of you to Galilee. Peter replied, Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will. I tell you the truth, Jesus answered, This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times. But, Peter declared, Even if I must die with you, I will never disown you.
Peter, Peter, Peter! Jesus speaks to Peter directly more often than any other disciple. You, the rock, upon which Jesus will build his church, why so fallible, unpredictable, impulsive? Peter, to me, is the “every-person,” and I make a point of listening with intention when Jesus speaks to Peter; remembering how he sank like a stone when he took his eyes off Christ.
Christ had plans for Peter (the Church and us) that did not include dying with him, but becoming a faithful witness, a cornerstone for Christianity and an inspiration for the fledgling followers. (Acts 2: 14-36).
As we know, Peter did as Jesus said and emphatically denied he even knew who Jesus was, three times. Peter was still a work in progress. His transformation came only after the Risen Christ forgave him and committed him to his mission. Three affirmations of Peter’s love of Jesus and three instructions to care for His sheep, emphatic, Follow me, and the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower him to accomplish the mission blessed Peter into his ministry.
Blessed Jesus, during our darkest times, help us to faithfully follow you and nurture each other knowing you dwell in us as in Peter. Ignite us with the power of the Holy Spirit to be the grateful witnesses of your holy Word. Amen