May 1, 2022
Today, in God’s Mercy, Jesus asks Peter an open-ended question, the kind that leaves both parties very vulnerable to the answer:
Do you love me?
Wow! What if Peter says “No”, or “Sort of” or worse yet, just stares off into the distance in silence? Would that break Jesus’ heart?!
And the question is kind of scary for Peter too. Maybe he’s thinking, “OK, this is it. Jesus wants me to lay it all on the line. Am I ready?” — because, as Jesus says so clearly, the measure of true love is service and sacrifice:
Jesus said to him the third time,John 21: 17-19
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that Jesus 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.”
The Gospel poses questions to each of us today as well:
- Who and what do I really love?
- How does my primary love drive my life choices?
- Are there places in my life that lack love – places where prejudice, blindness, selfishness or hate have filled in the emptiness?
- How inclusive is my love? How redemptive? How merciful? How Christlike?
- Where is God in my loves?
Prose: St. John of the Cross wrote this:
At the end of our lives we will be judged on love.
Learn therefore to love God as God wishes to be loved.
Music: Where Charity and Love Prevail – a lovely English translation of Ubi Caritas, written in Gregorian chant.