John 13: 21‑33, 36‑38
I tell you truly, the cock will not crow before you have three times disowned me.
The more exalted our ministry, so much the more does the devil interfere with it as he tries to confound us. We will do all with the help of God's grace if, like boulders in the sea, we remain immobile, though assailed by the waves. Let us take bitter things as sweet. It is through trials that one realizes the degree of virtue attained. I am speaking of those trials that one did not plan for, those not chosen or selected; nevertheless, they are to be endured by us. By degrees we must attain to that superabundo gaudio in omni tribulatione. 1). Where the Cross is, there also is the mercy of God. St. Vincent de Paul used to say: "my Congregation would cease to be if a single day would go by without crosses." Jesus was tempted to come down from the cross: ... but, for our instruction, he taught us to remain with the cross and to die on the cross.
Today we hear a comparison between Judas and Peter. Judas sets out on his quest to force God's hand, and Peter, as hapless as ever, professes his undying devotion. What basically separates Judas and Peter is the difference between a hope for power and a hope for relationship or service.
This is the night of betrayal and denial. "It was night," the gospel proclaims revealing the triumph of darkness as the enemies of Jesus seek to put an end to his influence. Jesus remains the obedient servant. Who he is does not change because of denial and betrayal. His faithfulness is lifelong, and he remains faithful through every trial, dryness and failure.
Gaspar calls us to follow Jesus in this faithfulness. The cross is our inheritance as he has told us many times before. Taking bitter things as sweet we shall remain faithful regardless of the trials life sets before us. It may seem unreasonable to abound with joy in the midst of tribulation as St. Gaspar calls us to. Yet he says that we must come to this gradually. With Peter's hope for relationship and devotion, we shall come through failure and trial to the perfection to which Jesus calls us.
- Where am I seeking to have power?
- How have I wanted to force God's hand?
- How does my devotion compare with Peter's?
 We have heard St. Gaspar quote this passage before. This seems to be one of St. Gaspar's favorite phrases. I know it is at least in four of his circular letters. The last quote, Friday of last week was from Strokes of the Pen V. This one is from Strokes of the Pen IV. Here again is the translation from the Vulgate/Douay: "Superabundo gaudio in omni tribulatione." (I exceedingly abound with joy in all our tribulation. 2 Cor. 7:4
 to Missionary Father Domenico Silvestri, 22 May 1833, Letter 2523, Resources 23, Strokes of the Pen IV, 9.54, pg 52