"Denial" is not just a river in Egypt as they say and the word has multiple meanings in our modern day.
Those who deny the holocaust, those who deny they have done anything wrong, those who deny the opportunity for life, those who deny the expression of truth, those who deny expression of true sexuality, those who deny the proper recognition of service in people who feel called to ALL types of church ministry regardless of their gender. The list is endless.
Peter is the disciple who promised to follow Jesus, no matter where. Peter stands in for every one of us in his weakness as well as his potential for great service. He is no better than any of us and yet he is the disciple that Jesus wants to build his church.
When we see ourselves in Peter, we realise that we have to accept our utter uselessness without Christ on a daily basis because we know that despite our promises we will fail time and time again.
Peter had to go through a painful journey of realising who he really was.
Culminating with his denial of Jesus, Peter hit "rock bottom" and as he saw the depths of his own shortcomings, he showed instantaneous sorrow and remorse. "Jesus turned and looked at him" and only then could Peter experience the height of Jesus' love for him.
I always get a shiver in my spine when I hear that line " Jesus turned and looked at him".
Prayer: Teach Me your Ways by Pedro Arrupe
Teach me your way of looking at people:
as you glanced at Peter after his denial,
as you penetrated the heart of the rich young man
and the hearts of your disciples.
I would like to meet you as you really are,
since your image changes those with whom you
come into contact.
Remember John the Baptist’s first meeting with you?
And the centurion’s feeling of unworthiness?
And the amazement of all those who saw miracles
and other wonders?
How you impressed your disciples,
the rabble in the Garden of Olives,
Pilate and his wife
and the centurion at the foot of the cross. . . .
I would like to hear and be impressed
by your manner of speaking,
listening, for example, to your discourse in the
synagogue in Capernaum
or the Sermon on the Mount where your audience
felt you “taught as one who has authority.”