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Friday, June 6, 2003

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Pentecost Novena - Day 8
St. Norbert

Acts 25:13-21
Psalm 103
John 21:15-19

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real love?

"Do you love Me?" —John 21:15, 16, 17

Simon Peter honestly believed that there was no reason to doubt that he loved Jesus. That's why "Peter was hurt because He (Jesus) had asked a third time, 'Do you love Me?' " (Jn 21:17) Although Peter had denied Christ a few weeks before this encounter (see Lk 22:57ff), Peter assumed that this was no reason to doubt his love. Moreover, Peter had returned to the fishing business he was working in before he met Jesus (Jn 21:3ff). Yet Peter didn't see that he was living B.C. (before Christ) and was thereby demonstrating further reason to doubt his love. Peter had met the risen Christ several times, but he was still languishing in unbelief. This wasn't a sign of love. Peter's life before Pentecost indicated a lack of love for Jesus in several ways. Everyone may have noticed it — everyone but Peter.

"Do you love" Jesus? (Jn 21:15) What does your life say? Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin and the denial of reality which comes with sin (see Jn 16:8). Ask the Holy Spirit to purify you through obedience (1 Pt 1:22) and to produce in you an authentic love for Jesus (see Gal 5:22).

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to free me from self-deception about love and to fill me with true love.

Promise:  "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless His holy name." —Ps 103:1

Praise:  St. Norbert led a life of ease and opulence even as a subdeacon of the Church but experienced a life-changing conversion after escaping death. He sold his estates, gave away the proceeds, and pursued a life of poverty.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries' Father/Son Camp June 13-14 offers an opportunity for quality time for leading your son(s) into a real love for Jesus. E-mail retreats@presentationministries.com or call 937-587-5464 to register.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, December 29, 2002

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 31, 2002