"I would say that is a sharable faith, perhaps because it is not so admirable. The faith of one who had learned to walk on water without tribulations would be fascinating, but maybe push us away," he said.
"Instead, this faith from a good friend, aware of his smallness and who fully trusts in Jesus, raises our sympathy and – this is his grace – confirms us!"
The Pope's meditation also emphasized the importance of prayer in a priest's life, pointing out how Christ himself says he has prayed for St. Peter in Luke 22:31-32: "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail; and once you have turned back, you must strengthen your brothers."
"The fact that the Lord expressly says that he prays for Simon is extremely important, because the most insidious temptation of the devil is that, along with some special test, we feel that Jesus has abandoned us, that somehow he has left us alone and he did not help us as he should have," Francis said.
"The Lord himself has experienced and overcome this temptation, first in the garden and then on the cross, trusting in the Father's hands when he felt abandoned."
"It is in this point of the faith that we need to be specially and carefully strengthened and confirmed," he said. But in the Lord's care "we find the strength we need."
"The Lord asks us to pray continually and persistently," he continued.
"As priests who take part in the Petrine ministry, in what he is to us, we take part in the same mission: not only do we have to wash the feet of our brothers, as we do on Holy Thursday, but we have to confirm them in their faith, showing how the Lord prayed for ours."
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.