This blog provides a meditation on the Episcopal daily readings along with a headline from world news:
Silvia Carrera speaks truth to the government of Panama on behalf of her people
Peter Denies Jesus
15 Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest,16but Peter was standing outside at the gate. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in.17The woman said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not.’18Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing round it and warming themselves. Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus
19 Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.20Jesus 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.21Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.’22When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’23Jesus answered, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong. But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?’24Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter Denies Jesus Again
25 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.’26One 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?’27Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.
27Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth— a stranger, and not your own lips.
3 A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
4 Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who is able to stand before jealousy?
5 Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
6 Well meant are the wounds a friend inflicts, but profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
7 The sated appetite spurns honey, but to a ravenous appetite even the bitter is sweet.
8 Like a bird that strays from its nest is one who strays from home.
9 Perfume and incense make the heart glad, but the soul is torn by trouble.*
10 Do not forsake your friend or the friend of your parent; do not go to the house of your kindred on the day of your calamity.
Better is a neighbour who is nearby than kindred who are far away.
11 Be wise, my child, and make my heart glad, so that I may answer whoever reproaches me.
12 The clever see danger and hide; but the simple go on, and suffer for it.
The story in the gopel of Jesus being interrogated by Annas reminds us of the injustices which take place daily in corrupt courts -in Russia, Iran, Zimbabwe and many other nations where tyrants or tyrannous groups rule without respect for law. People are abused as Jesus was and have to answer as he did that they are not the ones who act in secret. Thye have declared their views openly as honest people do but their honesty is unacceptable. Although they can appeal to the witness of those who actually heard them, their accusers refuse this evidence. Day by day good people suffer for this kind of honesty. Jesus, their brother who suffered for doing the same, is with them. This text should lead us to support the work of Amnesty International who, had they existed at the time, would have taken up the case of Jesus of Nazareth, unjustly condemned by the Jewish authorities. The work they do, without ideological bias, is invaluable as it confronts all societies with their injustices.
Jesus appeals to the transparency of his dealings: he has stated his opinions openly and he will not retract them because he is ill-treated. He remains calm. Peter on the other hand, acts out of fear and conventional wisdom-look after yourself first-and has to be reminded by the crowing of the cock that Jesus foretold his betrayal. As the proverb says (v.12) ” The clever see danger and hide; but the simple go on and suffer for it.” If Jesus is simple in this sense, perhaps we should be happy to be simple.