In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him. Jesus poses the question to Peter to undo the threefold denial of Jesus by Peter earlier in John’s Gospel. It is not that Jesus is reluctant to trust Peter; Jesus wants Peter to know that he is willing to trust him again. So, when Peter declares that he loves Jesus, Jesus commands him to take care of the flock and, once again, to follow him.
St. Bernardine of Siena –
Did you notice for whom Jesus prays? He prays for those who have believed in him through his work. These are the disciples, the first followers of Jesus. But then Jesus prays for all those “Who will believe” in him through the word of the disciples. This group includes all of us. I pray that they may be one as we are one. He wants all the people of the world to be in His company.
Jesus had a particularly good self-image, and it was not going to bother him what others thought. He had a mission in this world and nothing nor anyone was going to stand in the way. Jesus is asking that we remain focused as to our mission in life. We are in this world yet at the same time we cannot be of this world. In other words, this world has some very definite attitudes, has some very definite directions, yet we have very blessed attitudes, Beatitudes, and we have been given a map.
Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. His faith in us is based on a thorough knowledge of us. Knowing what we know about ourselves we might find it a bit amazing that Jesus would even consider us! And despite all our sins and short comings he still places his trust and his faith in us. Jesus’ faith in us is rooted in his unconditional love of us.
We are all in the process of becoming. If we could only live with that kind of attitude, that without our knowing, God’s providence is working his purposes out even when it is invisible to our eyes. All we need is to trust in God’s providence.
Seventh Sunday of Easter –
When Jesus prayed for togetherness, he was not so concerned with our opinions as with our attitudes. Remember what he said: “By this shall all know that you are my disciples in that you love one another.” I do not have to agree with you on every issue, and you do not have to agree with me, but there can be unity in our diversity if only we have love. How can our Lord’s plea for Christian unity ever be fulfilled without your help and mine? We must pitch in and get that prayer answered.
St. Isidore –
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. We say this prayer over and over. We begin our Mass, our rosary, our prayers with that sign. Notice, there is no verb, no subject, and no object. It merely sets the stage; it is like an announcement, a herald, placing ourselves in God’s presence, filling our whole being with the Holy Trinity. It is like saying, God, here I am, I am ready to communicate with you.
St. Matthias –
Today’s gospel reading tells of the time when Jesus described his relationship with his disciples as a friendship. It was the night before his death. He became very personal and specific, saying to his disciples: “You are my friends.” So even in the life of the Lord, friendship played a positive role. It was a part of the strength that enabled him to face the cross with unfailing courage and uncompromised honor.
The Ascension of the Lord –
“I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.” He did not say I will be with you only when you behave yourselves, or only when you are praying in church, or only when you are clean of all sin. He said always. And I prefer to take Jesus at his word. In other words, I believe in him.
When a poet delivers a great message in words which defy time, when a musician writes a piece of music like Handel’s Messiah, when a scientist discovers something which will help our work and make life easier, when a surgeon discovers a new technique that will save and extend life, when someone discovers a new drug which will bring life and hope to suffering humanity, this is all a continuation of the revelation of God in our world. Are we attentive to the presence of God all around us?