Unshaven and anonymous
Leo I, Sermon 54
Among all the works of GOD’s mercy, dearly-beloved, which from the beginning have been bestowed upon men’s salvation, none is more wondrous, and none more sublime, than that Christ was crucified for the world. For to this mystery all the mysteries of the ages preceding led up, and every variation which the will of GOD ordained in sacrifices, in prophetic signs, and in the observances of the Law, foretold that this was fixed, and promised its fulfillment: so that now types and figures are at an end, and we find our profit in believing that accomplished which before we found our profit in looking forward to.
And how much this humiliation conferred upon all the faithful, the most blessed Apostle Peter was the first to prove, who, after the fierce blast of threatening cruelty had dismayed him, quickly changed, and was restored to vigor, finding remedy from the great Pattern, so that the suddenly-shaken member returned to the firmness of the Head. For the bond-servant could not be “greater than the Lord, nor the disciple greater than the master and he could not have vanquished the trembling of human frailty had not the Vanquisher of Death first feared. The LORD, therefore, “looked back upon Peter,” and amid the calumnies of priests, the falsehoods of witnesses, the injuries of those that scourged and spat upon Him, met His dismayed disciple with those eyes wherewith He had foreseen his dismay: and the gaze of the Truth entered into him, on whose heart correction must be wrought, as if the LORD’s voice were making itself heard there, and saying, Whither goest thou, Peter? why retirest thou upon thyself? turn thou to Me, put thy trust in Me, follow Me: this is the time of My Passion, the hour of thy suffering is not yet come. Why dost thou fear what thou, too, shalt overcome? Let not the weakness, in which I share, confound thee. I was fearful for thee; do thou be confident of Me.