Thought for the Day – 17 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Peter Denies Jesus
“Peter was by nature impetuous and generous.
He loved Jesus sincerely.
Even after the other Apostles had run away when Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane (Cf Mt 26:56), he followed Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the High Priest’s house.
“Peter was following at a distance” (Lk 22:54).
In his generous enthusiasm, however, he depended too much on himself.
During the last supper, Jesus had foretold to His Apostles, His approaching passion and death and their desertion.
Immediately, Peter had solemnly declared that, even if all the others would scandalised on the night of the passion, he would never be scandalised.
He would, he said, be ready to go with Jesus to prison and to death (Cf Mt 24:33, Lk 22:33).
But Jesus, tried to put him on his guard against presumption. “I tell thee, Peter, a cock will not crow this day, until thou hast denied three times, that thou knowest me” (Cf Lk 22:34).
In spite of this prophecy, the impetuous Apostle went as far as the courtyard of the High Priest.
While the divine Redeemer was brought in chains before the judgement seat of the High Priest, where He was calumniated, struck and condemned to death, Peter was asked if he was a follower of the Galilean.
Three times, He denied his Master with oaths and protests.
Unfortunately, this is what happens to anyone who trusts presumptuously in his own strength.
This is what happens when we forget that we can do nothing, as St Paul points out, without the help and the grace of God.
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything, as from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor 3:5).
Anyone is courting disaster if he foolishly places all his confidence in himself and neglects to seek the help of God, when he is danger.
He is certain to fall!”