Jesus' gaze and Peter's contrition

 The Lord, ill-treated, is led into one of those courts. Then He turned and looked at Peter. "Their eyes met. Peter would have liked to lower his head, but he could not look away from the One he had just denied. He knows the looks of the Savior very well. He could not resist the authority and the charm of that look that aroused his vocation; that look so affectionate of the Master that day when, looking at his disciples, he affirmed: Here are my brothers, sisters and mother. And that look that made him tremble when he, Simon, wanted to move the Cross out of the way of the Lord. And the compassionate look with which he welcomed the young man so little detached to follow him! And the look flooded with tears before the tomb of Lazarus...! He knows the looks of the Savior.

"And yet he never ever contemplated on the face of the Lord the expression that he discovers in Him at that moment, those eyes impregnated with sadness, but without severity; a look of reproach, no doubt, but which at the same time wants to be pleading and seems to say to Him: Simon, I have prayed for you.

"Her gaze stopped only for an instant on him: Jesus was pushed violently by the soldiers, but Peter continues to see her". He sees the indulgent gaze on the deep wound of his guilt. He understood then the gravity of his sin, and the fulfillment of the Lord's prophecy concerning his betrayal. And Peter remembered the Lord's words: Before the cock crows today, you will have denied me three times. He went outside and wept bitterly. To go outside "was to confess his guilt. He wept bitterly because he knew how to love, and soon the sweetness of love replaced in him the bitterness of pain".

Knowing that he was looked upon by the Lord prevented Peter from despair. It was an encouraging look in which Peter felt understood and forgiven. How he would then remember the parable of the Good Shepherd, of the prodigal son, of the lost sheep!

Peter went outside. He separated himself from that situation, in which he had imprudently put himself, in order to avoid possible relapses. He understood that this was not his place. He remembered his Lord and wept bitterly. In Peter's life we see our own life. "Sorrow of Love. -For He is good. -Because He is your Friend, who gave His life for you. -Because everything good you have is His. -Because you have offended Him so much.... Because He has forgiven you... He!... you!

"-Cry, my son, from the pain of Love.

Contrition gives the soul a special strength, restores hope, makes the Christian forget himself and draw near to God again in a deeper act of love. Contrition appraises the quality of the interior life and always attracts divine mercy. My gaze rests on the humble and on the contrite of heart.

Christ will have no objection to build his Church on a man who can fall and has fallen. God also counts on weak instruments to carry out, if they repent, his great undertakings: the salvation of men.

Most probably Peter, after the denials and his repentance, would go to look for Our Lady. We also do it now that we remember more vividly our faults and denials.