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Peter Wept

Then Peter remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly. Matthew 26.69-75

Dear dear Peter. Jesus had predicted Peter's denial, and it came true...and Peter went out and wept bitterly. Unlike Judas, scripture tells us Peter was redeemed later, but the tears Peter wept might have been as much for love and devotion as they were for the sadness of the betrayal. (and though scripture does not tell us, I believe Judas wept too.)

One Maundy Thursday many years ago, as we chanted this beautiful Taizé piece, the repetition of "Stay, Watch and Pray with me" struck a deep chord in my soul, unleashing a torrent of tears. I wept uncontrollably knowing that in order to answer my call to ordination, I would have to leave my family and friends all present at the service, to "stay and watch and pray" with Jesus in seminary and then as a priest in the church. A young man, cellist and organist extraordinaire, came up to me and asked if I was all right, and still today when I hear this chant I think of him and his kindness. I also remember what it means to stay, watch and pray with Jesus, what we must give up or take on. And I have greater understanding of the tears of Peter when he realized what he had done.


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