Saints for the day: Marcellinus & Peter (d. 304)
Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy: 7th Week of Easter
Acts 25:13b-21 – Psalm 103 – John 21:15-18
“Simon Peter, do you love me? … feed my lambs;” Then again, “Simon, (or you can put your own name here) do you love me? … tend my sheep;” Then, as if we were deaf Jesus asks a third time, “Simon Peter do you love me? feed my sheep” (John 21:15ff)
We heard this Gospel on the 3rd Sunday of Easter and – just in case it didn’t stick with us – we get another chance to hear it again just as we get ready to celebrate the great Solemnity of Pentecost.
After Peter responds with his triple “Yes” – which many say was to give him the chance to re-commit after his triple denial in the courtyard of the High Priest’s house – Jesus says, “Follow me!”
These words are also spoken to each one of us and warn us that we just follow Jesus in order to “hedge our bets” against damnation or taking the “prosperity gospel theme” of getting the hundred-fold return. Our response: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you – 3X” gets a triple condition: feed my lambs; tend my sheep; feed my sheep.
One way to interpret what we are to do might be: take care of the vulnerable, innocent ones; tend to all of God’s people; feed and nourish all people who struggle to hear the word of God.
Take a moment to let those words sink in: who are the “lambs” that you encounter in whatever area of the world where you live? How do you take care of all of God’s people? Do you feed them with the word of God, as it is real in your own life?
If this sounds like too big a challenge the Holy Spirit is just around the corner to re-create our zeal and re-new our hearts with the fire of his love. God always gives us second – and even third – chances to get back in His grace.
“Come Holy Spirit come!” Amen!