Today’s Gospel: John 21:15-19
In today’s reading, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Each time after Peter answers “yes”, Jesus instructs him to care for His flock. The third time Jesus asks Peter this question, we are told that Peter was distressed. While the passage is interesting and thought-provoking, I think to truly understand the significance of today’s reading we need a little historical perspective.
It’s important to realize that this exchange happens after Peter – who at the last supper claimed he would follow Jesus to death – actually ended up denying Jesus three times before His crucifixion. I can only imagine how distraught and tormented Peter was after Jesus’ death, knowing how badly he had failed this man that he loved so much.
But here, in this passage, the resurrected Christ comes to Peter, still entrusting His followers to this man who had denied Him. What an amazing vote of confidence for Peter. Jesus is telling Peter that He still believes in him and that no matter what happened in the past, Peter is the one that can lead the church.
After this encounter, Peter – who had been so weak and scared at the time of Jesus’ death – now had the conviction and strength to follow through and not only lead the disciples but live up to his name and became the rock the church was built on. Jesus knew of Peter’s weaknesses and failures but also knew what Peter was capable of accomplishing.
How does God call us? Does He repeatedly ask,” Do you love me?” And how do we answer? Just like with Peter, Jesus will always give us another chance to answer “Yes.” Do we have the courage and faith of Peter to finally answer the call?
Are you using your gifts and talents for Christ? If not, how can you?
Dear God, please help me to have the courage to answer “yes” and the conviction to truly follow You. Each member of my family has amazing gifts that You blessed them with. Help me to encourage them to use these gifts to glorify You.
Copyright 2018 Leslea Wahl
Leslea Wahl is an award-winning author of Catholic young adult fiction. She hopes to encourage teens to grow in their faith through her fun, adventurous mysteries. Please visit her website at LesleaWahl.com or browse the wide variety of teen fiction available at CatholicTeenBooks.com.
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