Jesus’s prophecy of St. Peter’s three denials come true. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Prudence so he only makes promises he is able and willing to keep and by cultivating the Virtue of Truth so he can always avoid making false oaths of any kind.
See: Holy Week – The Passion of Our Lord – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 26:14-27:66
During the Last Supper, Jesus revealed the Apostles would abandon Him and Peter proclaims he would never abandon Jesus, even unto death. When Jesus admonishes Peter, prophesying Peter will deny Him three times “before the cock crows”, Peter again emphatically and foolishly promises he will not abandon Jesus, a promise he will soon break.
After the former high priest Annas sends Jesus to his son in law, the current high priest Caiaphas for trial before the Sanhedrin, John is allowed into Caiaphas’ inner court because Caiaphas knew him, but Peter was kept out. John returns and directs a servant girl to admit Peter, but when she gazes at Peter and asks if he is one of Jesus’ disciples, he denies it and chooses to remain outside (Jn 18:15-18); this is Peter’s first denial.
It is cold in the early morning hours and Peter draws close to a fire to warm himself with other guards and servants. Another servant girl recognizes Peter and says to the others around the fire that Peter was with Jesus; Peter denies Jesus a second time, emphatically declaring, “I do not know the man!” The others challenge Peter’s denial because Jesus is from Galilee and Peter has a Galilean accent. In his third denial of Jesus, Peter panics and becomes vehement, calling down oath curses upon himself in a desperate attempt to prove he “does not know the man!” Jesus gazed directly at Peter, and immediately, the cock crowed and Peter remembered Jesus’ prophecy of his denial; Peter runs away, and weeps bitterly. Peter’s three-fold denial mirrors the three times he failed to keep watch with Jesus in the Agony of the Garden (Mk 14:32-42) and after the Resurrection, Jesus will require Peter to confirm his recommitment to Jesus three times (Jn 21:15-17).
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at how Jesus, the Divine Prophet, reveals Peter’s denials: with Divine Knowledge that transcends time, at the Last Supper, Jesus accurately describes the future event of Peter’s denial with stunning accuracy, revealing both the number of times Peter will deny Him and the timing (before the cock crows).
Practice prudence when making promises
Realize: Peter, who is a passionate and courageous man, sometimes makes mistakes when he fails to prudently pause and instead impulsively acts too quickly based on his feelings: Peter attempts to rebuke Jesus (Mt 16:22-23); Peter initial refusal for Jesus to wash his feet (Jn 13:8-9); Peter’s promise to never deny Jesus (Mt 26:35). Every Catholic man can grow in holiness by building the Virtue of Prudence so he can reduce his own impulsive actions and be very careful when making promises.
Believe: Reflect upon Prudence (CCC 1788, 1805-1806, 1835, 2104).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prudence, help me build the Virtue of Prudence so I can thoughtfully assess situations and always shrewdly choose when and how to make promises to You and others.
Do not make false oaths
Realize: Peter called down curses upon himself (Mt 26:74; for example, “let me be damned if I am lying”), swearing a false oath that breaks The 2nd and 8th Commandments, shamefully denies Jesus, and directly goes against Jesus’ explicit command to not make false oaths (Mt 5:33-37). Every Catholic man is called by Christ to tell the truth all of the time.
Believe: Reflect upon False Oaths (CCC 2150, 2153, 2466).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Truth, help me build the Virtue of Truth (a part of Justice) so I never swear false oaths and always profess the truth in every circumstance.