Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Three's the charm.

It drives me mental when there is something (or, in this case, somethingS) which I have beheld and known and never bothered to connect. It's embarrassing enough to make a guy hand in his Mensa card in shame, but there ya go.

Anyway.

I was pondering Holy Writ--as is my wont--and I came across the bit of Peter (not yet St. Peter) and his rather squalid trifecta of denial as re. Christ. Then the thought struck me, "Why three? Why not, say, two...or five?"

Then it hit me.

If you'll flip back to the Gospel according to St. John, you'll notice that in 14:6 Christ tells 'em He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. By Chapter 18, Peter is denying up a storm, unable to withstand the oh-so-relentless verbal onslaught of the servant girl (D-R calls her a "portress" which means she watched the door or something) and he launches into his denial hat trick. What Peter had done by his denial was deny Christ was the Way, then he denied Christ was the Truth, and finally that Christ was the Life. Put another way, he denied that Christ was the means, goal and result of following God's revealed truths.

Not good. Peter, of all people, knew better and from way back (Jn. 6:70) and had openly said so: "Thou art the Christ." Big surprise he "wept bitterly."

Mind you, Peter had followed Jesus when almost everyone else had scattered, which is why he was available for the servant girl to inquire of him. Like elsewhere (walking on water, anyone?), Peter's faith runs out midway through. Peter is like a vintage sports car (again with the car analogies?) that sputters, stumbles, stalls and it's only when it finally manages to start up properly that it roars and revs.

We tend to be like that, at least the sputtering part. What bothers God is not so much that we sputter...but that we don't eventually "catch" and rev like He meant us to do.

AMDG,

-J.

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