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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

April 12, 2011

Guided Meditation: Peter Denies Jesus

Use this reflection to bring your students near to the fire—figuratively and literally—listening to accusations and denials. Allow them to enter into the dialogue. Pause longer on the italic lines. Say:

Enter into this space.
Quiet down.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Be still.
Let all your worries fly away.

Breathe in.
Breathe out.

It is cold.
Someone has built a large open fire to keep warm.
You are standing next to the fire.
A lot of people do the same.
Your mind is exploding with thoughts.
Your friend, Jesus, was just arrested.
You and his followers came to this place where he is being kept.
The crowd is restless, hostile even.
What is it like to be in this place?
How are you feeling?

A woman glances over at Peter, a close friend of Jesus.
Stares at him.
She points at him.
She whispers something to the woman next to her.
She knows who Peter is.
What if she knows you are?
Are you safe?

She walks over to Peter, her friend behind her.
She says, “You are one of his followers.”
Peter jumps to his feet and denies it, “No, I am not..”
Watch his expression.
Watch her reaction.

“Yes you are,” she continues.
“I have seen you with that man they call Jesus.”
Peter responds, “I am afraid you are mistaken.”
Look at Peter’s face.

“Yes you are,” she continues.
“I have seen you with the man they call Jesus.”
Peter responds, “I am afraid you are mistaken.”
Look at Peter’s face.

She replies, “No, I am not, it is you.”
“No,” Peter says sternly, “Now get away from me.”
He shoves her aside and walks away.
A rooster crows.
You look at Peter, stopped in his tracks.
He also heard the rooster.
You remember Jesus’ words at dinner.
Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times before the rooster crowed.
None of you, including Peter, thought that it could ever happen.
Peter is one of Jesus’ closest confidants.
What are terrible night this has been.
Let your mind replay the scene of Peter’s denial.

Walk over to Peter.
Sit with him.
List to Peter as he tells you how he feels.
He asks if you ever did something like this.
Answer him.

It is time to reenter this space.
Say good-bye for now.
Ask Jesus to lead your way into the rest of the day.
Say thank you.
Come back gently.
Open your eyes.
Sit up.


1 ruth

Jan. 25, 2012
When I printed this page, the print was too small to read. How can I enlarge the print?

2 Cindy

March 27, 2012
Thank you. my 4th -6th graders love these reflections. Thanks for sharing.

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