One Minute Reflection – 30 March – Tuesday of Holy Week, Readings: First: Isaiah 49: 1-6, Psalm: Psalms 71: 1-2, 3-4a, 5ab-6ab, 15 and 17, Gospel: John 13: 21-33, 36-38
“The cock will not crow before you deny me three times.” – John 13:38
REFLECTION – “The first time Peter denied, he did not weep because the Lord had not looked at him. He denied a second time and did not weep because the Lord still did not look at him. He denied a third time; Jesus looked at him and he wept very bitterly (Lk 22:62). Look at us, Lord Jesus, so that we might know how to weep for our sins. This shows us that even the fall of the saints may be useful to us. Peter’s denial has done me no wrong, on the contrary, I have gained from his repentance – I have learned to be beware of faithless companions. …
So Peter wept and wept bitterly; he wept so hard that he washed away his offence with his tears. And you, too, if you would win pardon, wipe out your guilt with tears. At that very moment, in that same hour, Christ will look at you. If some kind of fall happens to you, then He, the ever-present witness of your intimate life, looks at you to call you back and cause you to confess your lapse. Then do as Peter did, who thrice said: “Lord, you know that I love you” (Jn 21:15). He denied three times and three times he also confessed. But he denied by night; he confessed in broad daylight.
All this has been written, to make us understand, that no-one should be puffed up. If Peter fell for having said: “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be” (Mt 26:33), who is there to count on himself? … From whence then, Peter, shall I call you to mind, to teach me your thoughts as you wept? From heaven where you have already taken your place among the choirs of angels, or from the grave? For that death, from which the Lord was raised, did not reject you in your turn. Teach us what use your tears were to you. But you taught it without delay for having fallen before you wept, your tears caused you to be chosen to guide others, you who, to begin with, did not know how to guide yourself.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop of Milan, Father and Doctor of the Church – Commentary on St Luke’s Gospel, 10,89f.
PRAYER – Almighty Father, we are slow to understand. In that love that You have for us and the grace, mercy and forgiveness You grant us. You gave Your only Son to save us from ourselves, help our lowly hearts, that we may understand Your love and in our smallness, offer all of our hearts, minds and souls, back to You in total submission and love. May Your saints and angels, help us on our way by their prayers and may Mary, the Sorrowful Mother of our Saviour, grant us, her heart, to love You in return. We make our prayer through our Saviour, Your Son, Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.