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Browsing Reflections Archive

October 22, 2020

Daily Reflection for Thursday, October 22, 2020
Peace and Blessings Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link: Click Here

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Isaiah 52: 7-10
Responsorial: Psalm 96: 1-3, 7-8, 10
Gospel: John 21:15-17a

Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”  John 21:15

The readings I used for today’s reflection are the alternate readings for the Memorial of Pope John Paul II.  Usually when I choose to focus on the alternate readings, it is because the particular saint or inspiration for the feast day stirs something deeper inside of me.

Today that is not the case but it is not intended as a knock on Saint John Paul II, who is inspiring in many different ways.  Today, these readings just spoke to me more directly.  The Holy Spirit was truly present when I began to read the gospel. It was all too familiar as I had just prayed over this passage as my penance after attending the sacrament of reconciliation.  I guess God must have really wanted me to get this particular message.

Today’s gospel takes place after Christ’s death and resurrection and also after Saint Peter’s denial of Christ.  Despite Peter’s betrayal, Jesus doesn’t chastise or rebuke Peter.  He asks Peter if he loves him and instructs him to “feed his sheep.”  I suppose this reading was chosen to honor Saint John Paul II since as the pope his duty was to care for God’s flock.  However, this reading applies so easily to us all.  It reveals numerous things:

First, it reveals the depth of God’s love and forgiveness for us.  He does not judge Peter, but calls him to recommit himself to Jesus and offers him forgiveness.  Secondly, Christ isn’t just calling Saint Peter or his successors like Pope John Paul II to “feed his sheep.”  He is calling all of us.  Just like Peter, if we love God and seek to do His will, we must do our part to “feed his sheep.”  I too often think that this is a task of the institutional Church—the Pope, bishops, priests, and charities that the Catholic Church operates—but as the body of Christ, we are the Church.

That is amazing and beautiful...and humbling.  Instead of turning away from us, as we too often do with God, Jesus hands us more responsibility.  In doing so, He shows us the love and faith that He has for us.  He also challenges us to be His hands in the world.

This week if you are in need of forgiveness, seek out God.  Go to reconciliation and recommit yourself to Christ.  Secondly, ask yourself, what are you doing to feed His sheep?

Peace and blessings,
Pete Kuester


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