But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are saying!” Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.
(Luke 22:60 NKJV)
We are in summer, and despite the vagaries of the weather leaving painful marks in some areas as a result of our poor environmental management, there is a desire for many to escape. Those who have the opportunity to spend a few days in rural areas will have the pleasure of listening to the singing of crickets and cicadas, but also the rooster at the breaking of the dawn. And it is precisely a rooster that is a central part of Lucanian history and the fulfillment of the words addressed by Jesus to Peter: "Today, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times". It was a curtain that fell on the presumption of the disciple, who went out and wept bitterly (Luke 22:61-62). All the Gospels narrate this episode, certainly not happy for Simon, to remind us that falls and failures are around the corner for everyone. This could amplify your suffering of the moment, because perhaps like him you were sure that nothing and no one could ever make you give up, lie and / or abjure. The point of crisis is to fall, and to fall badly. Simon's failure is perhaps the worst "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38). Denying the evidence is bad. And the expression "I don't know what you are saying" to those who indicated it does not pull them out of the quagmire.
In the book of Acts, Peter takes on the role of the preacher, the persecuted, the healer or the liberated, he is certainly a reference figure for the nascent Christian community. He must have drawn important lessons from the mistakes of the past, from all the uncertainties, the insecurities, the impulses, the falls and the failures, despite the fact that he was by the side of the Master. In fact, the night of the betrayal, the determination and confidence that had so far distinguished him was not enough to avoid one of the darkest moments in his life. For three years he had been at Jesus' side, and his life had received a special imprint from the day when, crossed by the Master while he was tidying up his fishing nets, he heard himself say: "Follow me. I will make you a fisher of living men”. Luke the Evangelist recounts that on the night of Jesus' arrest, a few hours after his vehement declaration of being willing to give his life, our Simon will not find the strength necessary to declare himself one of the followers of the Galilean. In fact, three times he denies knowing him. He had followed Jesus, keeping his distance. He wanted to do something, but he wasn't capable. Jesus was among the accusers, like a dumb sheep before the shearers. Peter will discover that he is just as alone, when at the third denial he hears the cock crow, as announced by the Galilean. Just in that instant Jesus leaves the house of the high priest and meets the eyes of his beloved disciple, who bursts into bitter tears.
In my opinion, however, Peter's strength lies in immediately becoming aware of what has been accomplished and his bitter tears testify to this. If someone doesn't know what he is saying, you know what you are doing. The denial does not allow the enemy time to accuse him, but when he meets Jesus' gaze, he perceives the understanding, solidarity and above all the mercy of those who had tried to lovingly warn him. Perhaps we should find this strength, often confused with weakness. Whoever takes note of the mistakes and gets up will certainly come out stronger. But immediately the disciple struggles, to the point that after the resurrection and the first apparitions, he decides to go back to fishing. The one who was expected to become a "fisher of men" is still Simon and the blood of a fisherman runs in his veins. So his decision is: “I'm going to fish”. The result, however, was a total failure. A whole night without bringing even a little fish on board. At the moment when despair could take possession of a voice from the shore... The Lord was right there, as He is right here! As we toil in vain, his loving gaze does not leave us. He is ready to give us the right advice, he is ready to rehabilitate us, he is ready to entrust us with his flock.
Weekly Bible Reading
Plan # 32 02 August, Psalms 60-62; Romans 5 03 August, Psalms 63-65; Romans 6 04 August, Psalms 66-67; Romans 7 05 August, Psalms 68-69; Romans 8:1-21 06 August, Psalms 70-71; Romans 8:22-39 07 August, Psalms 72-73; Romans 9:1-15 08 August, Psalms 74-76; Romans 9:16-33
Photo by Martin M Hernandez Tena