by Rev. Fr. Mathew C. Chacko
Jesus Restores Peter
Gospel of John 21: 15-19
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”
19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
Do You Love Me More Than These?
Feed My Lambs, Tend My Sheep, Feed My Sheep, Glorify God!
This well-known story that we meditate year after year is a call to all who are ushered into the ministry in any capacity. Year after year men and women hear the Lord’s call and those who heed the call dedicate themselves to love and serve the Master with renewed enthusiasm. Those of us who have been in the ministry for so long, it is a time for re-dedication.
Calling Peter three times was giving him the opportunity to re-affirm his loyalty because he denied the Master three times. While communicating the Lord’s forgiveness and willingness to trust us again though we have not been loyal to Him or have been outright cheaters. Jesus reminds Peter of his initial enthusiasm and encourages him to re-dedicate himself.
This is a day of re-commitment for us ministers and stewards of the sacred mysteries.
1. DO YOU LOVE ME, MORE THAN THESE?
Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” (Matthew 26: 33)
This could be our thinking. But think again!
Have we not failed in our commitment to love him and serve him by loving and serving men and women whom he cares about?
In our enthusiasm in doing something, may that be buying a property “for the Church”, collecting money for a “noble cause” or whatever, causing stumbling blocks to believers – these little ones. "And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. (Mark 9:41-43).
2. Serving the Lord needs to be for his purposes, according to His will, His way and for the benefit of all.
How do we know this for sure?
This is the way to assure that. Consensus, togetherness, searching His will together with prayer and fasting – deliberating with one mind and heart. When we have our agenda includes all – the benefit of all, then the cooperation and the commitment of all will be assured and God’s blessings to the project will follow. This is the way and nothing else is.
May this years remembrance of Christ’s mercy in reinstating and re-commissioning Peter be a lesson to all of us – his servants – clergy and the people of God (laity) to humbly re-dedicate ourselves in serving Him by serving and honoring those whom we serve.
Restoring Simon Peter
by Rev. Fr. George T, Ireland
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