by Sr. Genevieve Glen, OSB
The fisherman had aged, they saw, when dawn
at last broke through that endless night. He had
no words to strengthen them, his bluster gone
to silence. One by one they came. Grief bade
them gather there. The shadowed room was clad
in memories. Furtive eyes sought out the spot
where He had stood. The big man’s shame burned hot.
The One with whom he’d sworn to die was dead.
And he was not.
©2011, Abbey of St. Walburga, http://genglen.blogspot.com
|painting by Carl Heinrich Bloch|
Knowing what we do about Peter's actions in the preceding days, I can only imagine the depth of his grief and his even deeper confusion. Peter adamantly opposed Jesus every time he spoke of his death. He attacked one of the guards who came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He then followed to where Jesus was being held, hoping for news, but perhaps also staking out the place in order to try another violent rescue.
But bravery fails him. He denies Jesus, we're told. But perhaps there's some truth in his declaration: "I never knew the man." Because Jesus didn't turn out to be the fiery revolutionary many were hoping could come and overthrow Rome. As Peter came to grips with the truth of where his hopes really lay, he was devastated.
This Jesus wasn't going to foment a rebellion. He had another plan entirely. A completely insane one: To lay down his life.
Holy Saturday is a good time to sit in this space with Peter. To come to grips with the frailty of our plans and dreams. To let the wrong sorts of dreams die so that God's dreams for us in the world can be awakened.
Wishing you all a blessed Easter!
What about Peter's life and story resonates with you?
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