Daily Reflection for Friday, May 29, 2020
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:
“… do you love me more than these?” John 21:16
On Good Friday seven weeks ago, we heard Simon Peter deny Jesus three times. Today we hear Peter respond to Jesus’ query, “Simon Peter son of John Do you love me?” Peter responds with an emotional response of yes, I love you and you know I love you. Peter’s yes affirms his love of Jesus and in doing so he is redeemed from the sin of denying Jesus three times. Peter has grown from denying Jesus to not only knowing but also loving Jesus.
Many theologians assert that when we hear Jesus ask Simon Peter if he loved him more than these three times, Jesus used the Greek word agape, the highest form of love for the first two iterations. Peter responds with yes, I love you three times using the Greek word phileo, a love in friendship. The third time Jesus asks Peter he uses the word phileo, meeting and accepting Peter at his level. But Jesus does not leave Peter in a copacetic state for long. He commands Peter to share his love through service to tend and to feed Jesus’ flock. Jesus command extends to us, too: to tend and to feed His flock, and to feed them some more.
Over the past few years I have caught myself along with celebrities and politicians offering thoughts and prayers to those struck by tragedy. Clearly, Jesus is calling us to do more than offer thoughts and prayers for those in need of being fed and tended. Now that I am retiring from my day job I am searching for how I should serve God’s flock next. I am praying that the Holy Spirit will guide and protect us during this virus pandemic. I want to feed and to tend His flock, and to feed them some more. I need the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Just like Peter, I need to move from cowering in fear to bravely feeding Jesus’ flock.
Perhaps you are also feeling the tug of Jesus’ command to feed and to tend His flock. Lucky for us it is Friday of the seventh week of Easter. In a few days, we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. May you be filled with the Holy Spirit. Alleluia!
Love and Blessings, Deacon John McShea