“Peter said to him in reply, “Though all may have their faith in you shaken, mine will never be.” Jesus said to him, “Amen, I say to you, this very night before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Mat 26:33-34
Did every nation East of Jerusalem, as the sun rose while the world spun, awake to silence? Did the world cease to hear the morning call of the cock?
I like to imagine that the good men and women in the East stopped in wonder. Was something wrong? Was something happening?
The answer is, something was happening, The Son was accepting His death, a death alone on a cross for all mankind. Yes, something was happening, but no one but a few knew.
Did the cock not crow for all mankind during this time or was the cock’s crow at that moment just for Peter’s ears? I believe the rooster called it shrill cry for Peter’s ears, to teach our first Pope of his great sin.
Our God is a patience and deliberate God. Had the cock not crowed for all mankind for the 10 or so hours it took between our Lord’s prophesy and Peter’s denials, it would have been just curious and resolved the next morning as the cock resumed his predictable noise.
Something was going on, but that happening is not just a curious event at one moment in time but one that an everlasting, ancient one made sure still rings today. That bird’s call is forever memorialized to this day. An insignificant beast played his part, oblivious of his role in history.
Its not just spooky that Jesus knew the future, rather, we come to learn that even in Jesus’ greatest time of need, Peter couldn’t stand firm, and he ran. Peter was far from Jesus, but the sound of the cock’s crow is the Father calling to Peter, come back. It calls to the man, repent/ turn back.
Peter does repent:
“At that he began to curse and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately a cock crowed. Then Peter remembered the words that Jesus had spoken: “Before the cock crows you will deny me three times.” He went out and began to weep bitterly.” Mat 26:74-75
Peter weeps bitterly, which is our great saint’s display to all of us, that despite our sins, our Lord calls us back for His mercy, we only need to weep bitterly. Peter knows he’s failed, yet unlike Judas who commits suicide, Peter repents. Later, the risen Lord demands Peter’s words of commitment. Peter must answer Jesus three repeated questions, “do you love me?” Peter must undo his three denials.
Christianity spread like wildfire after these events. Our God is a patient God though, and His plan and will was to bring the good news to others at the time He felt was right. The America’s, for example, would have to wait 1500 or so more years before the Good news was spread. Many still wait today.
All of the world’s roosters probably sang their shrill cry to the unaware while we waited for Peter’s denials because it wasn’t just some weird event in history, but is an everlasting call, sustaining through the ages by a perfect and patient storyteller. A storyteller pulling you in even today, 2000 plus years later.
Hear the cock crow and if your sins are great, then weep bitterly.