V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
From the Gospel according to Mark 14: 66-68, 72
And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the maids of the high priest came; and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, "You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus". But he denied it, saying, "I neither know nor understand what you mean". And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times". And he broke down and wept.
"Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you" (Mk 14: 31). Peter was sincere when he said this, but he did not know himself, he did not know his own weakness. He was generous, but he had forgotten that he needed the generosity of the Master. He claimed he would die for Jesus, but it was Jesus who was to die for him, to save him.
In making Simon the "rock" on which to build his Church, Christ involved the Apostle in his initiative of salvation. Peter naively believed that he could give something to the Master, but instead, everything was freely given to him by Christ, including forgiveness after his denial.
Jesus did not withdraw his choice of Peter as the foundation of his Church. After repenting, Peter was given the capacity to strengthen his brethren.
Lord, when Peter speaks, enlightened by the Father's revelation, he acknowledges you as the Christ, the Son of the living God. When, on the other hand, he trusts his own reason and good will, he becomes an obstacle to your mission. Presumption causes him to deny you, his Master, while humble repentance confirms him once more as the rock on which you build your Church. Your choice to entrust the continuation of the work of salvation to weak and vulnerable men manifests your wisdom and power.
Protect the men you have chosen, Lord, so that the gates of the underworld will never prevail against your servants.
Direct your gaze upon all of us, as you did that night upon Peter after the cock crowed.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
Quæ mærebat et dolebat
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