Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Before the cock crows....

The prophecy of Jesus that Peter will deny him thrice within a few hours of the night and Peter's initial denial of it is one of the Lenten themes that comes up often, especially in the Holy Week.  We also read that Peter 'wept bitterly' when this prophecy does come true. 

We are all like St Peter.  Or Peter too was a mortal, simple human being just like any of us.  He was not even an educated man or an aristocrat.  He was a common man.  And like most people, when faced with a life-threatening situation, he chose the easiest and safest way out: denial and lies. 

Sometimes I wonder what if Peter had not lied about his identity and affiliation with Jesus that night.  Most probably the mob would surely have vented some of their anger towards him and in an extreme situation Peter would have met the same fate as did Jesus, right then and there along with Jesus on Calvary.  Who then would have become the 'leader'? 

Peter's denial of Jesus that night saved his life.  He goes on to become the anchor of the early Christian community.  Though not with faults and weaknesses, people look up to him and respect his decisions.  Even a learned man like Paul tries to help Peter see his point and abide by his decision, rather than declare rebellion and independence stating, 'I'm not going to follow an ignorant fisherman!'  Imagine if Paul were the first Pope! (My hunch is that it would have been catastrophic for the Church - then and now!) Jesus in His wisdom chose a down-to-earth, common man, with all the virtues - and vices - of an ordinary human being, to be the head of the Church... much like Pope Francis in our times!  

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