• Elpidio Pezzella

The crowing of the cock


Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. (Luke 22:60 NKJV) In summer, we hear the singing of crickets and cicadas with pleasure. And those who have the opportunity to live in more rural areas will be familiar with the singing of the rooster at dawn. In the story that Luke gives us, it is not just a temporal reference but the fulfillment of the words the Lord had addressed to Peter: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times" (Luke 22:61-62). All the Gospels narrate this episode, certainly not happy for Simone, to remind us that falls and failures are around the corner of everyone. This could amplify your suffering of the moment, because perhaps like him you were sure that nothing and nobody could ever make you desist, lie and / or abjure. The crisis point is to fall, and fall badly. Simon's failure is perhaps the worst "If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels" (Mark 8:38). The strength of Peter, however, is, in my opinion, in immediately becoming aware of what has been accomplished and the bitter tears testifies to it. He does not allow the enemy to have to time to accuse him, but the moment he catches the eye of Jesus, he perceives all the understanding, solidarity and above all the mercy of those who had tried to put him lovingly on guard. When we think abput Peter we project ourselves into the book of Acts, where he plays the role of the preacher, the persecuted, the healer or the liberated, certainly a reference figure for the nascent Christian community. Yet the one who stands out as a column, a fixed point, has in his past the uncertainties, the insecurities, the impulses, the falls and the failures of every human being, even though he is walking alongside the Master. And it was precisely in what we examine that Peter's determination and certainty, which had characterized him so far, was not enough to avoid one of the darkest moments of his life. For three years he had been at Jesus' side, and his life had received a special imprint 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 says that on the night of the arrest of Jesus, 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 Galileo. In fact, he denies knowing him three times. He had followed Jesus, keeping his distance. He wanted to do something, but he wasn't capable. Jesus was among the accusers, like a sheep dumb before the shearers. Pietro will find himself alone, when he hears the rooster sing at the third denial, as announced by the Galilean. Precisely in that moment, Jesus leaves the house of the high priest and meets the eyes of the beloved disciple, who weeps bitterly. Perhaps we should find this strength, often confused with weakness. Whoever takes note of the mistakes and stands up certainly comes out stronger. But immediately the disciple struggles, to the point that after the resurrection and the first apparitions, he decides to go fishing again. The one who was expected to become a "fisher of men" is still Simone and the blood of a fisherman flows through his veins. So his decision is: "I'm going to fish". The result, however, was a total failure. A whole night without taking even a little fish on board. In the moment that despair could take possession of a voice from the shore ... The Lord was right there, as it is right here ... while we toil in vain, His loving look does not leave us. He is ready to give us the right tip, he is ready to rehabilitate us, he is ready to entrust us with his flock.

Devotional 31/2019 Weekly Bible reading plan July 29; Psalms 49-50; Romans 1 July 30; Psalms 51-53; Romans 2 July 31; Psalms 54-56; Romans 3 August 1; Psalms 57-59; Romans 4 August 2; Psalms 60-62; Romans 5 August 3; Psalms 63-65; Romans 6 August 4; Psalms 66-67; Romans 7

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