May 17, 2013

The Gospel Today

Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Jn 21: 15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Reflection (Sem. Enrico L. Terrel)

We are relational in nature. Thus, it is no wonder that experiences of betrayal are indeed very painful and traumatic. We find someone whom we consider worthy of our love and trust. We share our very lives with the one we love. However, this person may not value enough and reciprocate our love by hurting us and straining the relationship in the process. As a result, we end up losing the affection and trust that we once had for that person. What is worse is that we find it hard to love and trust the next person whom we encounter.

Jesus Christ loved Simon so much. He chose and called him as one of the twelve. Despite the latter’s impulsiveness, Christ named him Peter to serve as the rock and the leader of the apostles. Christ trusted him so much. In response, St. Peter pledged his life in the hour of trial. But, he failed to deliver by denying Jesus thrice. He was not able to defend Jesus. He failed to reciprocate the love and trust given to him. Despite Peter’s failure, Christ, after his resurrection, did not lose faith and love for his apostle. He restored Peter’s confidence by making the latter revoke his threefold denial through a threefold affirmation of love for the former. By addressing him as the caretaker of the flock, Christ entrusted to Peter the entire people of God once more. Like St. Peter, we are also very loved and trusted by God with our life, freedom and giftedness. But oftentimes, we fail to live up to our God-given dignity by acting against our well-being, thus sinning against Him. We certainly offend God. He knows our sins but He does not dwell on them. As a God of second chances, He provides us with the grace that we need in order to rise from our fallen state. He is more than willing to love and trust us all over again. Being called to imitate Christ, we can feel the pain of betrayal. Let us go beyond our pain by not losing our capacity to love and trust our fellowmen. We love because we share in the life of God who is love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *