"A third time Jesus asked him, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?' " —John 21:17
How mercifully and graciously (Ex 34:6) Jesus treated Peter by the lakeshore! Consider the mercy of Jesus:
- Peter denied Jesus three times.Jesus allowed Peter to undo each denial with three professions of love (Jn 21:15-17).
- Peter denied Jesus by a charcoal fire (Jn 18:18ff). Jesus recreated the scene of denial with another charcoal fire (Jn 21:9), bringing healing to Peter's deepest feelings of shame.
- Jesus could have forgiven Peter privately. However, He chose to restore Peter in front of the disciples, giving Peter renewed credibility and authority in their eyes.
- Jesus once told Peter that if he knew his Master's wishes but did not prepare to fulfill them, he would be severely punished (Lk 12:47). Yet Jesus showered Peter with mercy (Jn 21:6) and hospitality (Jn 21:13) rather than punishment when Peter turned his back on his Master's call.
- Jesus once again placed His trust in Peter to feed His lambs. He could have chosen another apostle to replace Peter, but Jesus was faithful to Peter and He is faithful to us.
Jesus' love covered a multitude of St. Peter's sins (1 Pt 4:8). As we approach Pentecost, let us ask Jesus to pour out His love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit He sends to us (Rm 5:5).
Prayer: Holy Spirit, produce in us the fruit of love (Gal 5:22). May we constantly feed Your lambs with the Scriptures.
Promise: "As the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is His kindness toward those who fear Him." —Ps 103:11
Praise: Mary appeared in Fatima, named for Mohammed's daughter. This attracts many Muslims.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 6, 2015
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