Prayer: O Jesus, fill my heart with love so I can serve you.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus speaking with Peter on the share of Galilee.)
This text is extremely important. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus gives Peter the Keys to the Kingdom. In this passage, Jesus also gives Peter authority, using the image of “feeding the sheep.”
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud)
After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? He answered, ‘Lord you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” A second time, Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Tend my sheep.” A third time, Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon was annoyed because he asked a third time. He said, “Lord you know all things. You know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”
“Amen, amen I say to you. When you were younger, you would dress yourself and go where you wanted. When you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another shall lead you where you do not want to go.” With these words, Jesus signified by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. Then he said, “Follow me.”
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
Jesus’ three questions give Peter an opportunity to reverse his three denials.
For Jesus, Peter’s personal love is important. He had to know where Peter’s heart was.
Assured of his love, Jesus makes Peter the guiding Shepherd of the Church.
Jesus speaks of Peter’s first moments, when his task concludes.
The impetuous Peter won’t choose his path. His young man’s strength will fail.
He will go where others take him. This requires spiritual maturity.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
Lord, you always give me an opportunity.
I will correct my errors and undo my mistakes.
Lord, please ask me if I love you.
Lord, you know where my heart is. Claim it as your own.
You know everything, O Lord. You know my call. You know my future. You know the moment of my death.
I will go where you want me to go.
Your final words touch my heart. “Follow me”, you say.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
I will hear Jesus’ question in my soul, “Do you love me?”