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Wow...do we have an awesome God, or what? The sensitivity to His beloved is truly jaw-dropping. The Gospel that we just heard this weekend happens to be one of my favorite scripture passages, and, during this Year of Mercy, it holds even greater meaning.
There are an incredible amount of directions one could take in discussing this extremely deep revelation of the Word of God, and I was delighted to be able to hear several versions due to the need to attend various Masses this weekend.
I feel, though, that I absolutely must call attention to the incredible mercy that this loving, sensitive Savior has demonstrated so clearly through Peter.
Introducing...a brand new, hot off the press adaptation of a very familiar story!
Enter: From Denial to Affirmation - an Extremely Condensed Story in 3 Acts: (Note the obvious paraphrasing) :)
Jesus, looking intently at Peter: "By the time the cock crows, you will deny me three times."
Peter, stepping back in great shock: "What??? No way!! I will NEVER deny You!!!"
Peter denies Jesus, his best friend, 3 times around a charcoaled fire. The cock crows. Peter is distraught and internally tormented by his actions. Jesus forgives all, then dies on a wooden cross.
Jesus defeats death and rises to new life. He appears to His followers many times, including at a lovely beach-side scene, the smell of fresh fish wafting through the air. Around a charcoaled fire, Jesus gifts Peter with 3 chances to rectify each of his denials. Peter responds to His offers with the ardent words: "I Love You." Peter, empowered with his new freedom of heart, spends the rest of his life proclaiming his love for his best friend and Savior, Jesus Christ, to the world.
How great a God to give Peter the chance to make up for his actions! Believe it or not, God gifts us with these rectifying moments just as He did Peter. Yes, we know on a certain level that God has forgiven us. But, our humanness often calls out for physical manifestation of our repentance. And, although we so often don't recognize it, it is provided to us. Penance given to us during Confession is one of the most obvious forms of this physical manifestation and one of the reasons why it is so vitally important. But God offers these penitential moments throughout our day as well.
I can't wait until I get to heaven and His intervention in my life is revealed! I think that I will be "head-palming" myself non-stop when I realize just how many times He offered me opportunities to physically "make up" for what I had done.
From denial to affirmation: perhaps our lives are more like Peter's than we realize!
In the next week, see if you can pinpoint of moment of affirmation that God is placing in your life.
Where and when will God be gifting you next?
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