Daily Reflection for Friday, May 21, 2021
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 readings: Acts 25:13-21
Responsorial: Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
Gospel: John 21:15-19
Our reflection on Friday’s reading:
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.” John 21:15
What do you suppose that this third appearance of Jesus to his disciples was like? I think that Jesus knows that the disciples are having difficulty believing that Jesus is really with them. So, what better way to normalize their relationship than to do something that is familiar. I’m sure that this was not the first time that Jesus had a breakfast with his friends on the shore! It was indeed similar to stories of Jesus’ first call to His disciples that created a familiar scene and frame of reference for them to really know and see Him.
In this particular meeting, Jesus seems to be connecting as “one of the guys” but his mission seems to be one of preparing a leader to carry on his mission when he leaves. I am encouraged that Jesus sees strength in flawed human beings to carry out His mission. It seems that His query to Peter “Do you love me?” is aimed at getting Peter to remember his flaws and his denial of Jesus and to once and for all put them aside. Perhaps Jesus wants Peter to let go of that denial guilt and move on. Jesus knows that Peter loves Him, but he wants Peter to express the obvious out loud as he moves into his leadership role, just as we do when we confess our sins to Jesus.
The directions that Jesus gives is also telling of want kind of leader Jesus is looking for. “Feed my lambs,” “Tend my sheep.” “Feed my sheep” indicates that Jesus wants the disciples to be servant leaders, not autocrats. ‘Feeding and tending’ speak to care and pastoral relationship with others, just as Jesus did during His public ministry.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your steadfast love. Lead me to care for others that your love may be expanded in the world.
When Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” -- how will you respond?