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Daily Devotional for July 3


July 3                                                               Luke 22:52-62

Personal and social recognition have become an obsession in
Western society. Our world places great value on holding "the
proper credentials," graduating from "the best schools," and
being a member of the "correct" social and professional
organizations. In addition to these pressures to achieve social
and personal recognition, we are incessantly urged by TV com-
mercials, highway billboards, and magazine advertisements to
seek recognition by following the latest style craze or buying
the trendiest fashion designer label. Recognition is for many
the be-all and end-all in our culture.

And yet, do any of us envy Peter as he is repeatedly recog-
nized in the high priest's courtyard on the night of Jesus' arrest?
So recently Peter had been sure of his unshakeable loyalty!
Now, each time he opens his mouth he exposes his inner
weakness and paranoia with words of condemnation and
cowardice. The recognition which he received was not what
he had anticipated! He makes swift and repeated denials. And
at the third denial, when Jesus "turned and looked at Peter,"
he remembers Jesus' earlier prediction and recognizes himself
for who he really is. In this full self-recognition, Peter "went
out and wept bitterly."

We are not so very different from Peter. We often attempt
to hide behind labels and disguises and brave words that deny
who we are, where we have been, and what we have done.
And often, when these masks are torn from us and we stand
exposed, we weep bitter tears of shame.

The pain and suffering we experience at such moments can-
not easily be relieved or dismissed. Like Peter, we must wait
in our newly found nakedness for the healing grace of the risen

          God, you know our denials and our fears. Be
         merciful to us in our weakness and strengthen
                   us in your love and grace. Amen.

from The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C


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