May 18, 2018
(St. Pope John I, Pope and Martyr)
Jesus said to Simon 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, “Follow me.” Jn_21:15-19
The governor of Judea, Festus, asked Paul if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar. Acts_25:13b-21
Hearing this interaction between Jesus and Peter, we might wonder if Jesus was not quite sure whether or not Peter was up to the task of leading His Church. Of course we know how the Scripture Scholars refer to this 3-fold confirmation of Peter’s love for Jesus as Peter’s “Rehabilitation” for his 3-fold denial of even knowing Jesus.
But this inquisition is actually MORE than just Penance for Peter. This is Peter’s official CALL, not only to unwaveringly follow Jesus, even to the extreme of suffering bondage and execution himself, but to Serve as the Primary Emissary of Jesus in what would become His Church on Earth.
And as Peter would become the nurturer, the administrator and the model of leadership, Paul would become the warrior, dauntless in defense and uninhibited in Zeal. Both rushing headlong to the chopping block or the cross, happy to die for the Glory of God.
What a picture!
Oh, that we might have just a fraction of their Zeal, a fraction of their Courage, a fraction of their Love!
I remember as a child, poking fun at those who would blindly follow some new fad, or some famed heart-throb. How we would tease them about jumping off a bridge, if everyone else of their following did.
And yet, isn’t it funny how we are now in a similar position, maybe not quite so hopelessly blind, as we follow Jesus to our own crosses.
But you know what, beloved? In reality, everyone WILL be going over that bridge, eventually, like it or not.
The question is, will it be a dreaded END, or instead – a much more glorious Beginning?
Jesus has shown us that there IS a Way!
So, what is it, brothers and sisters, that could possibly be holding us back from zealously answering that same Call as both nurturer and warrior for the Lord?
_________________________end of post