Saint for the day: Blessed James Oldo (1364-1404)
Acts 5:27-32 Psalm 30 John 21:1-19
“Peter, do you love me? Sally, do you love me? Daniel do you love me? And we respond, “Lord, you know all about me … and still YOU love me.” (a paraphrase of the words from today’s Holy Gospel)
“Peter, do you love me? Sally, do you love me? Daniel do you love me? And we respond, “Lord, you know all about me … and still you love me.” (a paraphrase of the words from today’s Holy Gospel)
I’m sorry that our liturgists have given the option of dropping off the above section of today’s Holy Gospel – even if it was thought to have been added in by the early Church. At least they’re not doing it for the sake of expediency or time! It’s worth your effort to go back and read – at least verses 13-18.
Most people – myself included – would be able to see the dramatic impact that this scene on the shore of the lake has to complete all the drama from the condemnation of Jesus to His resurrection and appearances to the disciples.
The disciples are discouraged and disappointed and they take the natural course to elevate their sadness: they go back to what they know. Fishing. They seem to have forgotten Jesus’ invitation to “Come, follow me” and they go back to what they know and have some control over rather than take a chance to follow a dream that seems to have gone astray.
But “going back” is never the answer ‘cause it’s never the same as we remember it. They went back to fishing but they were unsuccessful and caught nothing all night. When Jesus says try again, but on the other side of the boat, I’m sure they thought, “What does this guy know about fishing.” Yet it’s when they trust the unknown that they find the miracle.
I’m curious how the “prosperity Gospel preachers” will deal with this Gospel since their stand would be to cash in on the miraculous catch of fish and go out and buy a second boat!
But that’s not where our Gospel ends and John has Jesus ask Peter if he loves Him. Three times! And each time he leads Peter into a deeper level of “following:” feed my lambs; tend my sheep; feed my sheep. Jesus is giving Peter a full-time job description: take care of all the people you encounter. Tend to them and feed them.
In our English translation we only hear the use of one word, “Simon Peter do you “love me” more than these?” But Jesus uses two different words: the first time he says, “… do you “agape me” (love me in a lay down your life me for sort of way) with Peter’s response, “I phileo you” (love you in a familiar or brotherly way.) Then a second time Jesus ask, again, “… do you “agape me?” and Peter again answers, “ … “I phileo you.” The third time Jesus asks the question he comes down to Peter’s level and ask him, “ … do you phileo me?” showing that Jesus/God can always meet us where we’re at! I like that. Amen!