Do you love the Lord? Every human being is made for the love of God. We are created to be loved by Him, to love Him in return, and to love all of his creation, especially our fellow brothers and sisters. In the gospel today we see Peter restored from his three-fold denial by his three-fold affirmation. And we see Christ telling him three times to look after his sheep. Here we see the love of God and the love of neighbor merge together.
What happened to Peter as the head of the Church is meant for each one of us. We have all fallen short, we have all denied Christ in one way or another. We will be restored like Peter, and not fall like Judas, when our heart is set on the good and the true, when we keep getting up despite our weakness, when we continue to ask for forgiveness, and continue to desire and hope in God. Let us not be afraid to sit with Jesus and hear him question us. In a beautiful reflection by Saint Augustine, we see that when Christ is questioning Peter, He is also questioning each one of us:
“So do you imagine that the Lord is not questioning us? Was Peter the only one who qualified to be questioned, and didn’t we? When that reading is read every single Christian is being questioned in his heart. So when you hear the Lord saying, Simon son of John, do you love me? Think of it as a mirror, and observe yourself there. I mean, what else was Peter doing but standing for the Church? So when the Lord was questioning Peter, he was questioning us, he was questioning the Church”
Let us then take a time alone in the church or in our own room and question our self. Put this gospel (John 21: 15-19) in front of you and hear the Lord ask you: “(Name), do you love me?”. And then hear the Lord say to you “feed my sheep”.