April 2, 2023: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Gospel: Excerpt from Passion Reading, Matthew 26:31-35
Then Jesus said to them, “This night all of you will have your faith in me shaken, for it is written: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be dispersed; but after I have been raised up, I shall go before you to Galilee.” Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.” Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even though I should have to die with you, I will not deny you.” And all the disciples spoke likewise.
This passage near the beginning of the Passion narrative captures an interesting conversation in the Mount of Olives between Peter and Jesus. We’ve certainly encountered this brash and bold side of Peter before, so his comments are not too surprising! He is already in denial about his future actions: “My faith in you will never be shaken … even if I have to die with you!” We already know what Peter will do and his words come back to haunt him when he hears the cock crow after he swears by God, “I don’t know the man.”
I have to ask myself, how am I like Peter? The thought that came to me was that it is so easy in the quiet of my prayer space to talk to God about my day. How I will treat so and so with attentiveness; how I will not be sharp with that sister that pushes my buttons … you get the picture. Once out of that space, when I encounter the person, however, I often forget my plans and, in effect, deny that I had that conversation with God earlier in the day.
Let’s be aware of our good intentions at prayer each day this week and vow to match our actions to our words.