Thought for the Day – 9 April – The Repentance of St Peter

Thought for the Day – 9 April – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Repentance of St Peter

“Peter had denied his Master three times.
He was standing in the courtyard of the High Priest, waming hmself before a brazier and not even thinking of the depths to which he had descended.
Jesus, caluminated, struck and mocked, as if He were a criminal, forgets altogether about Himself.
Moved by compassion for the leader of His Apostles, now become a perjurer, He turns His gaze towards him.
Peter is jerked back to his senses by this look, which is at the same time, stern and affectionate.
He realises at last, the level to which he has fallen.
He is stricken to the heart and feels a sudden tightness in hs throat.
“And Peter went out and wept bitterly” (Lk 22:62).

Peter saw clearly, at this stage, the chasm into which he had fallen.
He thought of all the gifts and favours which he had received from Jesus and recalled the prophecy which his Master had made.
“A cock will not crow ths day, until thou hast denied, three times, that thou knowest me” (Lk 22:34).
He remembered, also, how he had sworn that he would never deny Jesus.
Now he saw himself in the role of the prodigal son or the lost sheep … and, as he wept bitterly, he saw again, the reproachful, yet loving gaze of Jesus.
His grief found an outlet in hIs tears and he was filled with confidence, that Jesus, in His infinite goodness, wuld forgive him.

If we should fall (as we often do, unfortunately), let us rise again immediately, as Peter did.
Let us weep for our sins and kneeling before Jesus, represented by the Priest, let us confess our faults and tell God, that we shall never offend Him again. ”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci


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