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Matthew 26:69. A servant-girl came to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.”
What is there in human nature that delights in joining the accusers? From lynch mobs to eye-rolling righteousness; from angry denunciations to the self-serving piety of “at least I am not as bad as…,” we all want to look good by making others look bad. The two serving girls and the bystanders in today’s reading have no role in the rounding up of the disciples of Jesus, if only because the authorities have no interest in doing so. They only want to be in the safe majority, and their only means of getting there is to spotlight the minority.
We often are asked to identify with Peter in his denial. But consider our identity with his accusers. Why do we do that? To feel superior? To prove to ourselves and others that we are solid, reliable types, unlike the accused? To enjoy the power rush that comes from kicking someone who is down? These are very human impulses based on very human fantasies. Oddly enough, the only one who could actually grant the desires of the accusers was just a few yards away, but everyone was too wrapped up in their homemade righteousness to notice.
Today the Church remembers Thomas à Kempis, Priest, 1471.