When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter felt hurt because he said to him the 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. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.)
After this he said to him, “Follow me.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus asks Peter if he loves him three times in a row and Peter says he does three times. Why does Jesus do this so redundantly? Why then ask him to “Feed my lambs… Tend to my sheep… and Feed my sheep.” Perhaps if we put ourselves into Peter’s shoes we can answer why.
How often do we hear that Jesus calls us to love our neighbor, but we find ourselves too busy to help someone? How often do we hear that we should share our faith with others, but find ourselves coming up with an excuse not to share our faith? How often do we have an opportunity to help the poor, but instead purchase something for ourselves or someone else who has more than enough?
What can you do today to show Jesus that you love him by either feeding his lambs, tending his sheep, or feeding his sheep?
Prayer for Generosity
Eternal Word, only begotten Son of God,
Teach me true generosity.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve.
To give without counting the cost,
To fight heedless of wounds,
To labor without seeking rest,
To sacrifice myself without thought of any reward
Save the knowledge that I have done your will.
—St. Ignatius of LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!