Tuesday of Holy Week: Fickleness and Frustration into Friendship with God

BY ALYSSA PEREZ | April 12, 2022
Today’s Readings

This is maybe one of the first passages where Jesus is being sarcastic (at least in my mind), and it caught me off guard. Simon Peter tells Jesus, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Very truly, I tell you, before the cock crows, you will have denied me three times.” Jesus is saying: truly, will you? Because you are saying one thing and are about to do another. This got me thinking.

Fickleness and Frustration into Friendship with God 

When was the last time we were guilty of this? When is the last time that we may have said one thing, but done another? It is tempting, sometimes, to quickly judge Simon Peter for his denial of Jesus, yet sometimes the peer pressure and temptation is so strong that we all find our ways into the wrong situation or decision at times. 

This reading feels very timely for our Lenten journey as we move closer and closer towards Easter during this Holy Week. How many times have we been fickle in our commitment, or made exceptions out of convenience to our Lenten observance? I am for sure guilty of it, and Simon Peter’s story is a good example for us to reflect on. It is easy to see other people’s flaws and shortcomings, such as any of us reading today’s gospel about Judas or Simon Peter in 2022.  We may think to ourselves: How could Simon and Judas do that to Jesus? I would never.

And yet, how can we instead turn our prayer inward to refocus our energy and frustration into looking at our own lives? May those without sin throw the first stone. In choosing to admit our own fickleness and denials of Jesus, we are reminded that we are all sinners, no one person better than another. It humanizes each of us, so even when we don’t agree with other people—politicians, leaders, colleagues, or friends—and they seem dissonant in their action, we are able to understand and show compassion.  We all have something to work on in terms of living out our values, and today’s readings invite us into reflection about our own commitments and beliefs. Do we act in accordance with our beliefs and values every day, or do we have some things to work on moving forward into these last few days of Lent? 

It’s a little scary to look inward and face ourselves, but we find peace and comfort in the loving kindness that God surrounds us with each day. No matter our situation, God is always there to catch us or put an arm around us to wrap in a warm embrace. God is calling each of us into friendship with Her. Our journey during Holy Week is the perfect time to answer that call.

7 replies
  1. Stella Envulu
    Stella Envulu says:

    Beautiful reflection. On the contrary, my feeling this morning is that of compassion towards Judas and Peter. Judas certainly already enjoyed doing bad things (had made himself available to the evil one) but he was certainly the one chosen to bring to fulfilment God’s will. So, I empathise with him. Peter had goodwill but didn’t realize how weak he was and could be, so he fell…

  2. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    What I need to work on is patience and compassion. Patience in knowing that God will be with us at all times both good and bad. I remain true to His will for the world. Patience with our movement forward as children of God, our patience forward with each other in regard to work, play, material goods and by far really everything we do needs to be done in patience. Along with patience we need to be patient with all the situations in our universe. The person who scoots ahead of us while we were waiting; the patience of not realizing the struggles that the person ahead of us has. The patience and compassion of reaching out to assist others in their struggles. The patience and compassion of refraining from collecting what we don’t need, and others possibly do. The compassion of not wanting or accumulating those things that are in the way of our relationship with Christ. The compassionate giving of ourselves to others as God continues to give Himself to us in Communion.

  3. Lynda Connolly
    Lynda Connolly says:

    My fickle frustrating Lent:
    I sipped,
    I snacked,
    I noshed.
    Despite my stated intentions:
    I stormed,
    I steamed,
    I whined (and wined)
    I pitied myself,
    I pitied the universe,
    I criticized You.
    Now, there’s the clue.
    Was this journey always, mostly, sometimes anyway, all about me
    and not about You?
    Forgive me, Lord.
    Thank you, Lord.
    Like Peter, guide me, Lord:
    To return to you with all my heart,
    with all my soul,
    with all my mind,
    with all my strength,
    with laughter
    with love,
    with clarity
    with forgiveness
    as You forgive me;
    with purpose:
    Your purpose
    No matter the frustrations,
    Now and forever.

  4. K. Clare
    K. Clare says:

    The post on the saying and doing disconnect resonated with me. Indeed, I raised this in Reconciliation yesterday! I was gratified to read that I am not the only who is guilty of not following through my words with action. Now aware, I can pause before making promises I will not keep.

  5. sonja
    sonja says:

    It is one thing to practice Lent in a time of scarcity in the Northern Hemisphere. It is quite another to try in the hieight of autumn harvest, a time of superabundance in the Southern Hemisphere.
    Would Jesus be the great Saviour Christians believe He is, without Judas?
    If we celebrate the Risen Lord, shouldn’t we also celebrate/acknowledge Judas’ role for leading Him there?
    Why do only Muslims acknowledge the importance of Judas?
    We all make mistakes we regret later. At least I do. If we could see into the future, we wouldn’t make half the decisions we do. But we make them anyway, just as Judas did. Thank you God for giving us Judas, a very human character.

  6. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Useful input for reflection. Thanks Alyssa Perez. Divine nature of Jesus inspired Simon Peter and his colleagues. They tried and kept trying.


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