June 2, 2017
(Ss. Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs)
Jesus asked Peter, the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jn_21:15-19
Even though we celebrated the Ascension of Jesus on Sunday, we continue this Seventh Week of Easter in John’s Gospel with post-resurrection stories, all the way up to Pentecost Sunday.
Today we heard Peter’s 3-fold re-affirmation of his love for Jesus, in compensation for his 3-fold denial. And then Jesus reminds Peter, and all his disciples, that “feeding sheep” and “following Him” will not be an easy road to walk. As a matter of fact, they will be asked, or forced into doing things that they might NOT even want to do.
We can see the prime example of this – in the whole story of Paul. Paul was warned by the Holy Spirit many times, that if he went back to Jerusalem, the going would be really tough. And he might even be killed for his faith. In essence, many times, he almost was killed, and pretty violently.
Yet, time after time, by relying on the Holy Spirit’s lead, Paul was continually rescued from the jaws of death. And the people who actually had the power to have Paul killed, were totally perplexed with how to handle his case.
As a Roman citizen, Paul had every right to be tried in a Roman court. And Paul knew, that if he went back to Jerusalem, just one more time, it truly WOULD be the end for him. But he also knew that he had a whole lot more evangelizing to do – even if it had to be done from jail. So Paul appealed to Festus and King Agrippa to be tried in Rome.
You know, beloved, sometimes, when we listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit – we might find that life can get pretty complicated too. But then, on the other hand, we also know that we’ll always find the RIGHT answers when we rely on the Holy Spirit.
As we’re reminded of God’s awesome gift of the Holy Spirit into our lives, this coming Pentecost Sunday, we offer these lives of ours with all the courage, wisdom and love, with all the understanding, knowledge, counsel and reverence that the Holy Spirit endows in us – to save as many souls as we possibly can – until our dying breath brings us back home with God forever.
That’s our goal, and that’s our purpose, beloved. And that’s what
“Following Jesus” is all about!
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