Pati de la morera (Morus niger) en el castell d'Olite ("Patio de la morera", "Courtyard of the mulberry tree (Morus niger) in the Castle of Olite") a photo by Bilbopolit on Flickr.
The reflection today comes from The Women of the Passion by Kathleen Murphy. She invites me to enter the courtyard where Peter is asked to affirm his loyalty to Jesus and instead denies him three times.
All Matthew's Jewish listeners and readers would have understood the deep significance of the fact that the denial was threefold, that it became more adamant each time, and that the final witness to it was a man. Having been brought up in the Jewish culture, they would have known that the testimony of a woman would have been viewed as implausible. The word of a man posed no problems. One man's evidence was believed to be more trustworthy than that of a multitude of women (page 10).
I have chosen to reflect on this short passage not so much because of Peter's denial but because it depicts a reality that even today is true. It suggests that the marginalized, women, children and even men, have no voice. And then I am asked, "[Am I] genuinely committed to living the gospel consciously, not just during the few weeks of Lent but holistically and through the whole of life's journey?" (page 13) Am I willing to leave my comfort zone and take a stand for these children of God?
I want to say that I am consciously living the Gospel every day of the year. I hope that I can continue to be a witness to the values Christ has instilled in me. I am like Peter though. I have failed on many levels. I do enjoy my comfort zone! It is hard for me to take risks. I am frightened! But you know, when I least expect it the Holy Spirit does guide me in the right direction. There is still a lot of Peter in me. But, through the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit I am able to reflect on the failure and find solace in the fact that I am love by God as one of his creations and am forgiven. And being forgiven I will again step forward and do God's will.
Thanks be to God!