Peter was privileged to know Jesus in ways not granted to the other disciples (see Mt 16:17; Mt 14:29; Mt 17:1; Mk 5:37; Mt 26:37). If anyone was in a position to know Jesus intimately, Peter was. He knew Jesus the Messiah, Teacher, Deliverer, Raiser of the dead, and Master of the crowds. Yet, on Good Friday, Peter saw a Man before him standing bound, captive, mocked, and silent before His accusers. When asked about his association with this Prisoner, Peter answered: "I do not even know the Man" (Mt 26:74). Certainly, Peter spoke words of cowardice and denial. Yet, there is a profound truth to Peter's statement: he did not know Jesus, the Suffering Servant, Who was standing before him.
Paul was privileged to see Jesus and converse with Him (see Acts 9:4-5; 18:9-10; 9:16; 2 Cor 12:1-4). Paul knew Jesus in a way that few human beings will ever experience. However, Paul said: "I wish to know Christ" (Phil 3:10). Paul realized that his human lifespan was insufficient to completely know the God-Man.
Perhaps you feel that you know Jesus personally and intimately. Even so, the Passion Sunday readings challenge you to take a new look at the Unknown One. Humbly bow before Him during the upcoming Holy Week. Ask Him: "Do I really know You?" He will look at you (Lk 22:61), and your life with Him will never be the same.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2017 through May 31, 2017.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 2016.