An announced failure



And the Lord turned and looked at Peter.

Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him,

“Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times”.

Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:61-62 (NKJV)

When one thinks of the Apostle Peter, perhaps most of them are projected in the book of Acts, where he plays the role of preacher, persecuted, healer or freedman, certainly a reference figure of the group of the first disciples and the nascent church. Yet he who stands out like 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 beside the Master. And just one of these moments accompanies the passage of Luke. Peter's determination and certainty, which had so far distinguished him, was not enough to avoid one of the darkest moments of his life. For three years he was at the side of Jesus, and his life had received a special imprint when crossed by the Master, while tidying his fisherman's nets, he heard himself say: "Follow me. I will make you a fisher of living men". I wonder if Simon ever had understood the meaning of those words. The Evangelist Luke recounts that on the night of Jesus' arrest, just a few hours away from his vehement declaration of being willing to give his life, our Simon will not find the strength necessary to declare himself one of Galilean's followers. In fact, he refuses to know him three times. He had followed Jesus, keeping himself at a distance. He wanted to do something, but he was not capable. Jesus was among the accusers, like a mute sheep before the shearers. Peter will discover that he is just as lonely when the rooster crows at the third denial, as announced by the Galilean. Precisely at that moment Jesus comes out of the house of the high priest and crosses the gaze of his beloved disciple.

All the Gospels narrate this episode, certainly not happy for Simon. Almost to tell us that the falls, the failures can not be forgotten, because they are around the corner of each one. This could amplify your suffering of the moment, because perhaps like him you were sure that nothing and nobody could ever make you give up, lie and / or abjure. Pressed first by a woman, then a man and then some more. There is no sexual distinction, provocation has no gender. The point of crisis is falling, and falling badly. The failure of Simone, in fact, is perhaps the worst: to deny the Master. "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 - NKJV). The strength of Peter, however, is, in my opinion, in immediately becoming aware of what has been accomplished and the bitter weeping bears witness to it. It does not give time to the enemy to accuse him, but when he meets Jesus' eyes, he perceives all the understanding, solidarity and above all the mercy of those who had tried to put him on guard. Perhaps we should find this strength, often confused with weakness. Whoever takes note of the errors and gets 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. He, to whom it was intended to become "fisher of men", is still Simon and in his veins flows the blood of a fisherman. So his decision is: "I'm going fishing". The result, however, was a total failure. A whole night without even a little fish on board. At the moment that despair could take possession of a voice from the shore ... The Lord was right there, as he is right here ... as we labor 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.

Devotional 28/2018
Weekly Bible reading plan

09th   July Job 38-40; Acts 16:1-21
10th   July Job 41-42; Acts 16:22-40
11th   July Psalms 1-3; Acts 17:1-15
12th   July Psalms 4-6; Acts 17:16-34
13th   July Psalms 7-9; Acts 18
14th   July Psalms 10-12; Acts 19:1-20
15th   July Psalms 13-15; Acts 19:21-41


Photo by Anna Wolniak,

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