In the first reading today from Acts 25, Paul is in Caesarea awaiting trial. He is asked if he wants to go to Jerusalem to have his case heard. Paul declines, knowing that God is sending him to Rome. So Paul appeals his case to the Emperor. Our Gospel reading is from John 21, one of the most moving stories in all of Scripture.
Jesus had just finished having breakfast with the disciples on the beach, after His resurrection. He then turns his attention to 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.” This happens two more times, three total. Of course, we know that Jesus was giving Peter a chance to recant his threefold denial of Christ. And Catholics believe that Jesus’ threefold admonition to “Feed my sheep,” cemented Peter’s position of primacy among the Apostles.
The Bible says that "Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, 'Do you love me?'" Can't you just feel Peter's distress? His discomfort? Have you ever felt uncomfortable at a question coming from the Lord? Like, "Are you sure you want to do that?" "Have you thought this through?" Or perhaps the worst, "If you say that you love me, why are you acting this way?" Jesus knows that I love Him. It's just that my actions don't always bear out those words.
Father, forgive us for the many times we say we love Jesus, but don't act according to that statement. You know that we love you. Amen.