READINGS for 2007-05-25
THE CRYING ROOM
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” – John 21:17
Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
G O S P E L
God’s special verse/thought for me today_______________________
Thank You Lord for: ______________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Psalm 27-33
PETER – JESUS – AND IOne of the highlights of our pilgrimage to the Holy Land was that moment when we visited the place where tradition has it that the risen Lord appeared to His apostles at the lakeside, ate with them and then turned to Peter with the crucial question,“Simon bar Jonah, do you love me more than these?” This is a question Jesus poses to every one of us. He loves us so much that He gave His life for us on the Cross. And love is to be answered by love.
We notice several important points in this narrative. First, that Jesus does not call him ‘Peter’ anymore because the ‘Rock’ had proven to be very soft; he had denied His Lord three times. He had first to prove himself again as worthy of this name. When we sin we remain children of God, of course, but we have to prove ourselves again that we are worthy of this privilege. Then, the fact that Jesus talks to him is important. Peter had failed his Master. We would not have been surprised if Jesus had chosen another apostle to become the ‘rock’. But in the Old Testament we discovered that God gives to people who fail him another chance. Jesus follows the example of his Father. This is really Good News for us. It pains me when I hear,“I don’t dare go to confession anymore, because surely the Lord will not forgive me again.” Wrong! Pope Benedict’s first encyclical letter begins with the words, “God is Love.” Of course, we cannot go on sinning “because God is good and will forgive me.” That would be an abuse of God’s mercy and love.
Finally, Jesus is full of understanding; He knows how weak we are. In the Greek text, Jesus asks Peter two times for the highest form of love, agape. But Peter, after his failure, has become more humble and answers that he loves Jesus but he uses a word that is used for the second form of love, philia. He does not brag anymore. He feels sad that he cannot love the Lord yet in the highest form possible. Then Jesus asks him a third time and uses philia. In other words, he meets Peter where he is now in order to lead him over the years to the point of agape. And Peter would show this highest form when at the end he will give in Rome his life for his Master. Jesus demands much; His ideals are high. But when He sees that we are not yet ready He meets us in order to guide us further towards the ideal. What sensitivity! What a love! That’s our Lord! Fr. Rudy H.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do I love or fear the Lord?
Lord, like Peter I still lack love for You. Please, guide me and bring me to the point of being ready to do everything for You – out of love.
St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, pray for us.
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