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Gospel Reading for May 17, 2024 – John 21: 15-19

VERY IMPORTANT

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

————

Peter was probably distressed after Jesus asked the third time because he remembered that he denied Jesus 3 times before the cock crowed, when Jesus was arrested by the Jews. We have to understand though, that 3 times implies importance. Jesus was about to turn over his duties as Shepherd to Peter, and this was VERY IMPORTANT.

But, let us take note that Jesus emphasized love for him as prerequisite to feeding and tending to his sheep. Truly, when we come to think of it, it is quite, sometimes even very, difficult to tend to people put under our care, and this is not just for pastors. It is also for parents, surrogate parents, teachers and school administrators, formators, employers, government officials, etc.. What will make it easier is if we are doing it out of LOVE FOR GOD. It is not only because the Holy Spirit gives us strength and inspiration, but it is also because when we truly love, we want to give nothing but the best!

Jesus, our Good Shepherd, help us keep under your care always!

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