Father David Daly, LC
had said this, Jesus went out with his disciples
across the Kidron valley to where there was a garden,
into which he and his disciples entered. Judas his
betrayer also knew the place, because Jesus had often
met there with his disciples. So Judas got a band
of soldiers and guards from the chief priests and
the Pharisees and went there with lanterns, torches, and
weapons. Jesus, knowing everything that was going to happen to
him, went out and said to them, "Whom are
you looking for?" They answered him, "Jesus the Nazorean."
He said to them, "I AM." Judas his betrayer
was also with them. When he said to them, "I
AM," they turned away and fell to the ground.
So he again asked them, "Whom are you looking
for?" They said, "Jesus the Nazorean." Jesus answered, "I
told you that I AM. So if you are looking
for me, let these men go.” This was to
fulfill what he had said, "I have not lost any
of those you gave me." Then Simon Peter, who
had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest´s
slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave´s name
was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword
into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that
the Father gave me?" So the band of soldiers,
the tribune, and the Jewish guards seized Jesus, bound
him, and brought him to Annas first. He was the
father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.
It was Caiaphas who had counseled the Jews that
it was better that one man should die rather than
the people. Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.
Now the other disciple was known to the high
priest, and he entered the courtyard of the high
priest with Jesus. But Peter stood at the gate outside.
So the other disciple, the acquaintance of the high
priest, went out and spoke to the gatekeeper and
brought Peter in. Then the maid who was the gatekeeper
said to Peter, "You are not one of this
man´s disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."
Now the slaves and the guards were standing around a
charcoal fire that they had made, because it was
cold, and were warming themselves. Peter was also standing
there keeping warm. The high priest questioned Jesus about his
disciples and about his doctrine. Jesus answered, "I have
spoken openly to the world; I have always taught
in synagogues and in the Temple, where all the
Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why
do you ask me? Ask those who heard what
I said to them; they know what I said." When
he had said this, one of the police standing
nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, "Is that
how you answer the high priest?" Jesus answered, "If I
have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if
I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?"
Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They
asked him, "You are not also one of his
disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am
not." One of the slaves of the high priest,
a relative of the man whose ear Peter had
cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the
garden with him?" Again Peter denied it, and at
that moment the cock crowed.
Introductory Prayer: Lord
Jesus, Good Friday is the day when you conquered sin
by your death on the cross. You showed your
mercy to be indestructible. The more the offenses thrown
against you, the greater the forgiveness that came from your
Sacred Heart. Thank you, Lord, for your humble, generous
gift of yourself amidst such terrible suffering. I wish
to accompany you closely today in your Passion. I wish
to know you and to follow you more closely
all the days of my life.
Petition: Lord, convince
my heart that you truly died out of personal
love for me.
1. The Affirmation: “I AM”. These are
the courageous words of Christ before the cohort of soldiers
sent to apprehend him in the garden of Gethsemane.
They are the same words that God used to
describe himself to Moses on Mt. Sinai. They are the
words that have been used in Christian thought to
refer to the Creator of all existing things. They
are words in which Christ recognizes and proclaims his divinity
before the soldiers. For this reason, they turned around
and fell to the ground. As we meditate on
Christ’s Passion, let us remember his divinity. He is
my God and he is my Savior.
2. The Denial: “I
am not.” These words of Peter stand in stark
contrast to the words proclaiming Christ’s divinity. We could
say that they represent all that is weak and
fragile in man, expressed through the mouth of St. Peter.
Unlike Christ in the garden, Peter stands by a
warm fire and responds to a young servant girl. He
denies being a follower of Christ and, in doing
so, confirms his own weakness and his need for
God’s grace and mercy. We should identify with Peter and
recognize our need for Christ’s sacrifice. When “I Am
Not”? When do I let my human fragility get
the better of me and pull me down? What do
I need to do to avoid the pitfalls in
my life and be a more faithful follower of Christ?
Out of Love for Me: This Gospel scene juxtaposes
Peter’s denial and Christ’s sentence to death. Even though
Christ’s death would have happened without Peter’s denial, what was
its effect on Our Lord? Jesus was dying for
Peter and all people in order to save us
from our sins. Peter’s lack of faith and love did
not change that. But when he turned again and
believed, he recognized that Jesus had done it all for
him, and from then on he proclaimed it far
and wide. May the Lord help us to realize
that Christ sees all of our actions and they either
console him or add to the pain of so
many infidelities. We need to work steadily to build a
second nature within ourselves so that in moments of
temptation our heart turns first to Jesus, considers the
offense we might cause him and then our will kicks
in to reject doing wrong and thus please Our
Lord and Savior.
Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus,
as I contemplate your loving self-giving on Good Friday, I
ask you to fill my heart with a deeper
knowledge and love of you. All of my infidelities
and weaknesses contribute to what you have suffered. You did
it out of love for me and for each
one of my brothers and sisters. Thank you.
Resolution: I resolve to ask for the personal experience
of Christ’s love today, especially when considering his passion