Posted by: livingscripture | June 2, 2017

Seventh Friday of Eastertide

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

June 2, 2017

SEVENTH FRIDAY OF EASTERTIDE

 

 

WORD of the DAY

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter,  “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”  He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to 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.   Amen, amen, I say to you,  when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”  He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me”.     (John 21: 15-19)

How shall I live this Word?

This is the last encounter with His Apostle after the Resurrection and we can refer to it as a ‘second call’ of Peter, characterized by the final ‘follow Me’.  Peter is the one with whom Jesus had created bonds of friendship, His Peter, who so many times had been praised by Jesus for his impetuous generosity and had also been scolded for his impulsiveness.  Now Peter is mature in love and really ready to give the gift of himself gratuitously and Jesus returns this trust.  In the years that Peter lived with Jesus, he was able to get to know Him deeply.

Jesus has Peter make three affirmations of his love, perhaps to annul his triple denial during the passion of Jesus.  Peter has certainly grown and matured in the three years with Jesus and his response now  to the second call is different than that of his first call.  He has become so trustworthy and full of love that Jesus entrusts His Church to him.  Peter had been saved by Jesus’ prayers for him so that his faith would not fail and when he had repented, he would help his brothers. (Cf. Luke 22: 31-32).

Peter was saved by Jesus’ prayers and by His gaze that touched Peter to his depths…making him cry bitterly.  (Cf. Luke 22: 61-62).  It was a look full of tenderness.  It is now the great Love of the Risen Christ that questions Peter about Love, arousing in him secret dynamics, more real than his presumption and his betrayal.

The Voice of Pope Benedict XVI

 From this ‘follow me’, Peter followed the Master in the precise awareness of his own fragility…in fact, he knew that he could count on the presence of the Risen One beside him.  From the naïve enthusiasm of his initial adhesion, passing through the painful experience of his denial and his tears of conversion, Peter now entrusts himself to the Jesus who adapted Himself to his poor capacity for love.  Thus He shows us the way as well, regardless of all our weakness.

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