Posted on Apr 16, 2019 by

[Simon Peter said to him, “Master, where are you going?”
Jesus answered him,
“Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later.”
Peter said to him,
“Master, 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?
Amen, amen, I say to you, the cock will not crow
before you deny me three times.”]

Amidst a discussion about who will betray Him, Jesus and St. Peter have this exchange.  True to his personality, St. Peter impulsively exclaims that he will follow Jesus wherever He will go, even if that means going to death for Him.

Though St. Peter expresses His unreserved devotion, Jesus patiently brings St. Peter back to reality, “Will you lay down your life for me?  You too will deny knowing me tonight.”  Can you imagine St. Peter’s confusion and frustration at Jesus’s words.

St. Peter: “I will die for you.”
Jesus: “No, you won’t.”

Jesus answered him,
“Where I am going, you cannot follow me now,
though you will follow later.”

A few years later in Rome St. Peter will follow through on his bold desire to die for Jesus, crucified upside down in the emperor Nero’s Circus.  Jesus points out to St. Peter that he will be unable to perform the ultimate act of love without first receiving such an undying love.  Jesus shows St. Peter this love on the cross and reveals a degree of love never before imagined—an undying love, a love that goes beyond the grave. This is the kind of love St. Peter received, and this is the kind of love St. Peter eventually gives.

We too cannot love as Jesus asks unless we have first received it.  This cannot be a vague idea or feeling.  Our reception of Jesus’s love must be a lived reality.  Ideas and passing feelings do not change a person, but experience does. St. Peter discovered this after witnessing Jesus’s Passion.

As the celebrations of His Last Supper and Crucifixion draw closer, walk with Jesus through these momentous events.  Pick up the Bible and reread Jesus’s Passion. Imagine yourself in the scenes and talk through them with Jesus.  Use all five of your senses as you imagine. What do you hear, see, smell, taste, and touch?  Connect your own life to Christ’ Passion—love for family and friends, betrayal, death of a loved one, etc.  Experience the events of Holy Week and the depths of Jesus’s love for you like never before.

Once you begin to experience this unconditional love you will be able to more perfectly give your life for others—your spouse and your children, your friends and your relatives, your coworkers and your acquaintances.

Jesus meek and humble of heart.  Make my heart like unto Thine.”
(Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus)