READINGS for 2008-05-09

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” – John 21:16
Love. Lab. Luv. Whatever the spelling, we know what that word is. It’s all over the songs you listen to on the radio. And if you choose the love songs category in Yahoo Music, you can even listen to just exactly that type of music.
Love is certainly a common word. Even with the Lord, we say “I love you” more often than we probably know. We sing love songs to Jesus during the Mass; we say “I love you, Lord,” when we feel especially high; we promise to be devoted to Him when we need something from Him.
Nothing wrong with that. But the day will come when the Lord will ask us, “Do you really love Me?” And the ultimate evidence of our love is by the life that we live. Without our daily life giving evidence to that, our declarations of love are mere lies. We are only deceiving ourselves.
As I continue to say I love you to the Lord, I learn that those words mean a whole lot than just three words spoken or sung well. By His grace, I hope to say a tender “I love You” through my life. Joy Sosoban
“If you love me you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
Do we love the Lord on our own terms or on His?


We do not know if Paul had been to Rome to proclaim the Gospel prior to this point in His life. Perhaps He appealed to be judged by Caesar in order to get to Rome and be able to give witness to Christ in the capital city of the empire? I do not know. All I know is that Paul does not waste an opportunity to share the Gospel. We can all learn a lesson from his vigilance.
Acts 25:13b-21
13 King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea on a visit to Festus. 14 Since they spent several days there, Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying, “There is a man here left in custody by Felix. 15 When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation. 16 I answered them that it was not Roman practice to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge. 17 So when [they] came together here, I made no delay; the next day I took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in. 18 His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected. 19 Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive. 20 Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. 21 And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”
Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab
R: The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (R) 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us. (R) 19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the LORD, all you his angels, you mighty in strength, who do his bidding. (R)
Jesus repeatedly asks Peter if he loves Him. This is because being a leader requires a very sober and serious decision. It is a great commitment to care for others as the priority in one’s life. Leadership, as Jesus models it, is all about service and putting one’s own needs aside. This is contrary to the ways of the world and certainly requires a deep commitment to avoid sin, as this is the origin of all selfishness.
John 21:15-19
15 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.” 16 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.” 17 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. 18 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.” 19 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.”
my reflections
think:Do I care for others as Jesus did?

God’s special verse/thought for me today________________

Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________


As Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” The apostle made it a point to answer in the affirmative. To Peter’s answers, Jesus gave out His challenges. First, He said: “Feed my lambs.” The second time, Jesus stressed: “Tend my sheep.” And on the third occasion, Jesus told Peter: “Feed my sheep.”
The three remarks of Jesus are not just a play of words. They express the fact that the shepherd has to journey with each sheep for a lifetime. The shepherd has to look after the sheep when it is small – a lamb. Delicate and defenseless, the lamb has to be fed and cared for like a baby. When the lamb becomes a sheep, it reaches the prime of its life. It is able to graze for food, and the shepherd has simply to tend the sheep, to see to it that it does not stray too far from the safe grazing ground. When finally the sheep becomes old and weak, it must again be kept healthy for its remaining years by the   shepherd’s nurturing hands.
In these days when variousrenewal groups and movements are flourishing within the bosom of Mother Church where they help make the Gospel values alive and relevant, the ministry of shepherding has become very popular. Every one who becomes active in these groups aspires that someday he or she will be called “shepherd” by the others. This is a noble aspiration. It is an aspiration planted into the heart of the community of believers by Jesus Himself who made the faltering Peter the shepherd of the flock he left behind. We are also reminded that while shepherding is a noble ministry, it is a demanding one, too. With this ministry, we enter a lifelong relationship with those whom we care for and help. Fr. Domie Guzman
Reflection Question:
At this moment of your life journey, are you a “shepherd” or a “shepherded”? What are your own enriching experiences about the ministry of shepherds?
Jesus, it is indeed an honor and privilege to minister to Your beloved “sheep.” May Your abundant grace be upon me as I serve just as You did.
St. Pachomius, abbot, pray for us.

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