Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest

Today’s Reflection
Gospel: Jn 21: 15-19
May 26, 2023 | Friday

Today’s Gospel

After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” And Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Look after my sheep.”And a third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus then said, “Feed my sheep! Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.”

Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And he added, “Follow me!”

Today’s Reflection:

Today, Jesus repeatedly asked Simon Peter if he loves Jesus more than “these.” How could Peter have reacted to this question? Was he upset? Did Peter wonder what Jesus was getting at? Was Peter concerned that Jesus was questioning his love and loyalty to Him? Regardless of the thoughts going through his mind, Peter simply
answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus then told Peter, “Feed my lambs.” A moment later, Jesus asked Peter the very same question. And once again, Peter told Jesus that he loved Him. Jesus then said to Peter, “Tend my sheep.” However, when Jesus asked Peter the third time, “Do you love me?”, Peter was very disturbed that Jesus again asked him this question. Jesus’ asking the same question three times indicated to Peter that Jesus must have had some doubts about
Peter’s loyalty to Him. Peter’s frustration, pain, and dismay had to be evident to Jesus. Finally, with great frustration in his voice, Peter says, “Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.” Jesus does not respond directly to Peter’s statement. Rather, He quietly and simply tells Peter, “Feed my sheep.” Jesus also tells Peter that he will be led on a new path, one that is unfamiliar to him. In the future, Peter will not be leading; rather, he will be led to a place where he will not want to go. Understandably, Peter did not know what to make of these statements.

At times we also may not understand what Jesus is saying to us. No matter who we are or what positions we hold, we are not in charge of our lives. We cannot control what our future will be. However, there is one area of control that we have: we can make the decision to walk with Jesus daily and to trust Him with all our hearts. Jesus loves us and is with us every second of the day. Are we willing to give up our illusion of control and place our hands in Jesus’ hands? Jesus loves us and will walk with us every step of the way. Jesus will guide us and strengthen us when we need help to deal with life. Jesus’ final statement to Peter was, “Follow me.” Today, Jesus speaks those same two words to us. Jesus longs to walk with us each day. Will we follow him? /Vulnerasti, 2023 


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