* MAY 21. * EASTER. Wk. 7. Fri. Jn. 21. 15-19
Updated: May 21
Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.
‘I tell you most solemnly,
when you were young
you put on your own belt
and walked where you liked;
but when you grow old
you will stretch out your hands,
and somebody else will put a belt round you
and take you where you would rather not go.’
In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me.’
St Peter has left us with a salutary warning we all need to heed, and that is when it comes to being a follower of Christ we must not trust in our own wisdom, ability or strength, but rather we must place our trust in the Wisdom and Love of Christ; - who lived amongst us as a man.
At the last supper he had no doubts about his ability to be a faithful disciple, and he said this to his face; - “I will never deny you!” While Christ no doubt admired his confidence in trusting in himself, he knew Peter needed to be enlightened if he was to be the leader of the Church.
This lesson occurred at the outset of Christ’s Passion when Peter was asked by three different people if he as a disciple of Christ, to which he replied, three times; - “I do not know the man!”
In today’s reading Christ provided him the opportunity to rectify this human failing publicly and, by this time, Peter had learned the need for humility and not to be so self-confident; - a lesson all Christians need to learn! Christ was meek and humble of heart, and we must be also!
What Peter did, when he betrayed Jesus, was he put his own welfare and comfort before his duties as a follower of Christ and I would suggest this is a human failing we have all been guilty of; - on many occasions! Sadly, we all have this tendency to trust in ourselves; - but like Peter, we all need to learn such trust is badly misplaced!
At the time of his betrayal Peter had placed all his confidence in his own strength and ability, but when given this second opportunity this confidence was non-existent and all he could say was; - ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ He had learnt the need for humility and not to trust in himself; - a lesson many of us still need to learn?
The truth is we are all weak human beings prone to sin (putting ourselves first!) and the only way to deal with this failing is to fall on our knees, admit our vulnerability, and place our trust in the Wisdom and Love of Jesus Christ; - the Son of God, who told us he will not abandon us!
Note the invitation given to Peter; - after learning his need not to trust in himself: ‘Follow me!’
"Come to me, all you who labour and are heavily burdened; - and I will give your rest! Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart; - and you will find rest for your soul!" (Matt. 11. 28-29)
Gospel Acclamation Jn14:26
The Holy Spirit will teach you all things
and remind you of all I have said to you.