We might be like Peter. Maybe we have denied and betrayed him many times. He still looks at us. Some may try to escape this gaze by blending in with the crowd. But, to disappear into the crowd is to lose the key to our life. True life is discovered in his merciful gaze. A gaze that is not dependent upon our own goodness. Jesus looked at Peter immediately after his betrayal.
As a pastor, I want my churches filled with gigantic crowds this Holy Week. But, not the crowds of anonymity or the crowds who are easily persuaded. No, I want my parishes to be crowds that consist of individuals who know that they live every moment (even their failures) in the tender gaze of Christ. Jesus wants every person in the crowd to live in the awareness of this gaze.
Let's not stand by and watch. Let's make it personal. Even if we are filled with failures, let's live in his tender gaze.