A reflection on the Scripture readings for Sunday, April 1, 2007, Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion. This Sunday's readings, as well as those for the rest of Holy week are packed with meaning and rich with wisdom. As I meditated on the readings for this Sunday, my heart concentrated on a "side story," that of Peter denying Jesus three times.
“This man too was with him.” But he denied it saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” “You too are one of them”; but Peter answered, “My friend, I am not.” About an hour later, still another insisted, “Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.” Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.”
What do you think about when you read this? Poor Peter, lacking courage. That won't happen to me... What would we do if we were in that situation? Would we have the faith and courage to admit we know Jesus? Well, we don't have too work so hard at imagining. How do we react when we face injustices at work, in our community, and in the world? How do we react when others are attacked and injured emotionally? How do we react in the face of poverty, war, sickness, and loneliness? Do we act as if we know Jesus? Or do we act as if saying woman, I don't know what you are talking about." I find this humbling, because I do deny I know Jesus many times a month, not so much by what I do, but by what I fail to do.
It is a long journey. I'm glad God is merciful and that he continues to strengthen us as we journey in our path. Some day most people will be able to say, "He must know Jesus, he must be one of them." We will be recognized by our words and our actions.