Reflection by Catherine Schipper
Today’s Gospel: John 21:15-19
As the afternoon sun sparkled upon the Sea of Galilee, I heard the gentle rippling of the waves lapping upon the shore with a pleasant breeze kissing my face. These are my memories of the Church of the Primacy of St. Peter, built at the place where today’s Gospel reading occurred. Usually, I attempt to place myself in a scene but today that isn’t necessary. Amazingly, I was there on Pilgrimage with Father James Martin and America Magazine. It happened here, by the sea, where Jesus’ ministry began and ended, as explained by Father Martin in our morning retreat.
As I reflected back on that day what I remember most is laughter. Beautiful laughter was heard amongst the pilgrims after getting out of the water feeling the presence of the divine as we basked in the sun on the huge boulders surrounding us. It was an epiphany of sorts as I realized that after finishing breakfast these worn and weary men were happy and full. There had to have been joy and laughter among them too.
But Peter had a heavy heart remembering the guilt of his betrayal. This was the first time Peter had seen Christ since his denial on that bitter day. Jesus approached Peter, freeing him from a crushing weight by eliciting Peter’s admission of love. There was no discussion about what had occurred, only Christ’s abundant love and mercy showered upon this humble man. “Peter, do you love me?” As Peter responded, receiving as well as expressing love, “Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.” Reflecting upon the words of Christ, I realized that I am also being asked, “Cathy, do you love me?” Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. You are my hope, my strength, my all and all. I am all Yours.
What is your response to Christ when asked, “Do you love me”?
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…Lord, help me to love you and your flock.
Copyright 2019 Catherine Schipper
Catherine Schipper achieved the dream of a lifetime this past spring going on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with America Magazine and Fr. James Martin. It brought the scriptures to life.
Receive CatholicMom.com newsletters in your inbox, including the Daily Gospel Reflection each morning!
* indicates required