A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 21:15-19
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, 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. 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.”
REFLECTION: “Follow me.”
And there they were: my "mini-me's". We were all sitting in the principal's office. Laura had put tape on her classmate's chair to see if the student would stick to the chair: Kevin checked out if glass had a low thermal conductivity and burned a hole in a classmate's sweater: and Michael refused to redo his art project when mistakenly he built it upside down. Not one of them made eye contact with me.
And me? Well I had many memories of my own visits to the principal's office. I was reminded of the forgiveness and love from my parents.
A few verses prior to today's Gospel, Jesus sought out the apostles and had breakfast ready for them. He called them, "children". He speaks to them with selfless and tender love.
Jesus is calling them back. Will Peter find peace when he is overwhelmed by sadness? John and Jesus knew that Peter had not been present for the crucifixion. Jesus knew Peter denied and betrayed Him.
Peter dives in the water to reach Jesus when he realizes that it is Jesus. This was Peter's chance to make amends, apologize or explain what happened. Here is Peter dripping wet and Jesus tells him to bring the fish to Him for breakfast. Jesus does not bypass or ignore Peter nor has He a stern word or face. Jesus makes eye contact, invites and welcomes Peter back to His good company. The last meal they had was the Last Supper in the Upper Room.
Alone with Peter, Jesus asks if he loves Him. The love of Jesus for Peter has never waned. His questions are not to make Peter feel badly about his past behavior.
"Do you love me more than these?" Simon Peter, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Tend my sheep."
"Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said, " Feed my sheep."
We, along with Peter, grasp this depth of love whose name is Jesus.
May we be ready with total and complete abandonment when Jesus says, "Follow me".
God Bless You