Jesus showed how his love reaches out, in the story of Peter’s denial. Jesus said: “Simon, Simon! Remember that Satan has asked for you, to sift you all like wheat. But I have prayed for you that your faith may never fail. You in turn must strengthen your brothers.” Later Luke tells us, “…the Lord turned around and looked at Peter, and Peter remembered the words that the Lord had spoken to him…. He went out and wept bitterly” (Lk 22).
Peter wept for Peter. He was humiliated. “How could I, Peter, deny Jesus after so many promises? What am I really?” Then he realized that Jesus had promised forgiveness, before his sin. “He loved me so much that he entrusted the others to me in spite of knowing what I would do.” At that moment he gained an insight into himself and into Jesus’ heart. Peter would never be the same again! He had encountered Jesus’ divine and human compassion. He had discovered that Peter is a flawed and dearly beloved human being.
When I am overconfident, Lord, reach out to me as you reached out to Peter. Remind me that your love never fails, that you are always ready to forgive.