Sunday, April 17, 2011

Passion Sunday--"He went out and began to weep bitterly."

Today at Mass, I found myself reflecting on the strangest of phrases in the Passion reading. 

"He went out and began to weep bitterly." 

Peter.  I don't think I've ever given more than a moment's thought about Peter; and let me tell you, usually the moment I give to thinking about Peter is irritation at his dopiness sometimes. 

Why Peter?  Why did this phrase jump out at me as if to clonk me over the head with a 2x4?  I thought about the sequence described by Matthew. 

He insists that he would never deny Jesus.  He is above that; thinks that's ridiculous.  Jesus gently fortells his actions and Peter passes it off.  Then it happens.  Not once, nor twice, but three times; cock crows and Peter is enveloped in deep sorrow almost immediately.  He denied one that he loved dearly.  He betrayed Jesus by word and action.  I wonder what was going through his head at that moment.  

I touched into Peter in the role of "betrayer".  Then, I had this profound sense of compassion for Peter.  I thought about his suffering and agony he must have been feeling; knowing he can't take it back nor can he run and express his love for Jesus. 

I really wanted to say, "Hey, Peter...buddy! You screwed up!  You have allowed for your humanness to come through.  Your love for Jesus is stronger than your mistake.  The relationship will be restored someday."  I was moved with compassion. 

Then of course the second 2x4 came swinging by to clunk me between the eyes.  What's this churning around in me?  Where's my lesson in this? 

I have felt the ache of betrayal.  The ache is sometimes an indescribable pain from deep within.  It rolls through me and cuts me open.  Surprisingly, underneath it all, is still love.  A deep love for these people who hurt me badly.  Why?  How?  How can I still love these people?  Well...the question that came to me today, thanks to Peter is:  How can I not? turn I felt compassion for my betrayers today.  I do care about the relationships and hope the gap can be lessened in the future.  Underneath all this yuck is still love.  I pray for them.   

Thanks, Pete.  I'm sorry I called you dopey; you taught me something quite profound today.  Thank you for sharing your humanness.  Happy Holy Week everyone!



Anonymous said...

Don't you have 2x4s? Actually, this was a good one, wasn't it?

More freedom....more healing!!

I hope you have a healing, (whole) Holy Week.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely real. Forgiveness and compassion...
Two very hard concepts to live. Peter set himself right up to illustrate Jesus' love, forgiveness, and compassion. Yeah!
I love your pics also - tres bien

Anonymous said...

That was supposed to read "Don't you hate 2x4s"? I have plenty that I use on's good to whacked by someone else's once in a while (especially if it comes from our Friend)

sarah, rsm said...

thank you for sharing YOUR humanness, katy! blessings to you in this holy week.....

jane said...

Dear Katy,
Your blogs have touched so many people! I understand well the brokenness and healing and anger and healing and anger and healing and... First discovered you when I googled SSSF. I know a couple of members. I was in Religious Life myself but not with them. Left. married. Now I am 10 months out of parish ministry having spent 22 years in it. It has been like a death. I guess that's why your blog touches me so deeply. Thanks for letting me share. PRAYING for YOU!