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June 3, 2022

Daily Reflection for Friday, June 3, 2022

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!

We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 25:13b-21
Responsorial: Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab
Gospel: John 21:15-19

Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"
John 21:15
He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
John 21:16
“He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
John 21:17

Pondering the above scriptures, we asked ourselves: “Why the same question three times?” Realizing Peter’s betrayal, especially as Jesus endured His last hours alone after Peter’s third denial, was Jesus looking for trust? Was Jesus trying to get Peter to truly understand the extremely important business—a very important task—that He was entrusting to Peter?  Jesus was asking Peter for sincere love and obedience. Jesus wanted assurance that Peter could handle this task for the future ministry. However, Peter was distressed because the three questions reminded him of his three denials.

Today, being the Friday in the Seventh Week of Easter, we can all recall the Gospel reading on Good Friday. We may even have thought, “How could Peter do this; how could Peter deny Christ?”  And might we have thought:  maybe, yes maybe, we could be denying Jesus each day as we make choices without Christ’s guidance.

Jesus was repetitive because He wanted Peter’s unconditional love. This love for Christ would allow Peter to answer God’s call and to be the leader Jesus wanted him to be. Jesus was assigning Peter the role of caring for His sheep and tending His flock. Peter was not being demoted; he was promoted and was given a new top job of tending to Jesus’ followers. These thrice-repeated instructions meant that Peter must love Christ and tend to us—Christ’s followers. What a promotion!  Simon Peter was distinguished by Jesus to hold the first place of honor and authority. Peter was, as the first Bishop of Rome, the first Pope.

Recently Dorothy and I visitedeb1fc19c-74d1-5a3d-a608-b5690e699e05.jpg Cleveland, Ohio, to see my brother.  We took time to visit the Cleveland Art Museum and viewed, Saint Peter Repentant.* The picture portrays Peter as an old man with a stark gaze, hands clasped as if he is seeking forgiveness.

Are we as Peter is in this picture, still seeking forgiveness for something from decades ago and long since forgiven? We must forgive ourselves as Christ forgives us; live in the now, cherish each encounter, and make the best of adversities.

Does Christ need to ask us three times before we decide to seek his guidance and follow Him?

Blessings to all,          
Dorothy and Carlos Alexander

*Saint Peter Repentant 1645, LaTour
Picture Description:  During Jesus’s arrest on the night of the Last Supper, the apostle Peter denied knowing him. Although Christ forgave his betrayal, Peter was consumed by guilt. LaTour represents Peter as an old man, reflecting on his past actions in a state of perpetual repentance. The apostle’s red-rimmed eyes and the uncertain light of the lantern suggest anxious sleepless nights; muted colors and simple forms give visual expression to Peter’s somber emotions


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