Posted by: livingscripture | May 22, 2015

Seventh Friday of Easter

From the Word of the Day db_41-Feed_my_sheep[1]

“He said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’  Simon Peter answered him, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’  Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs’.  He then said to Simon Peter a second time, ‘Simon, son of john, do you love me?’  Simon Peter answered him, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’  He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’  He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’  Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’  And he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’  Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep’…And when he had said this, he said to him, ‘Follow me’.”

 (John 21: 15-19)

How should we live this Word

 This is Jesus’ last encounter with his Apostle after His Resurrection on the Lake of Tiberius.  It is the second call of Peter and it is again characterized by a final ‘follow Me’.  Jesus last word to Peter in this second call is simply to ask for and give love.  In fact, this is precisely the difference between the first call to a Peter who is yet untried and the second made to a more mature Peter.

By now, the Apostle has reached such a depth of love that is humble and generous, that Jesus can entrust him with the safeguarding of His Church.  The Teacher had also predicted, “Simon, Simon, Satan has passed you like a grain through a sieve.  But I have prayed for you, that you may not waver in your faith.  And when you have returned, confirm your brethren.” (Cf. Luke 22: 31-32)  Peter was saved by Jesus’ prayer and His loving look.

Therefore, it is the great love of the Risen Christ that questions Peter now on Love, arousing secret dynamics in him, truer than his presumption and his betrayal.  Jesus again shows Himself on the Lake of Tiberius as the Savior of Peter’s humanity.  It is a humanity that risked being crushed by his triple denial, of being frustrated and discouraged for the rest of his life.  Jesus, instead, takes him again, awakens him, and rebuilds him.  With the last words, “Follow me”, Jesus reconfirms His call.  Jesus has rebuilt Peter’s vocation on his deepest nature, where the soul and the Creator Spirit’s touch become one.

In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder this scene so full of Jesus’ forgiving love and Peter’s repentance.

Thank You, Lord for this Your Apostle!  Peter is so close to us!  Once again, Your Word helps us to see clearly, to purify our faith, and to touch our poverty and fragility.

The Voice of Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher at the Vatican

Thank You, Creator Spirit, because You continually transform our chaos into cosmos; because You visit our minds and fill our hearts with grace.

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