Gospel: Jn 21:15-19
After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” And Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Look after my sheep.” And a third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus then said, “Feed my sheep! Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.”
Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And he added, “Follow me!”
Jesus now gives Peter a chance to redeem himself. He called Peter again to a loving relationship that left no doubt where Peter’s heart is. Each question is a progressive call to a deeper love and intimacy with the Lord. Each time Peter answers in the affirmative. The exchange must have been tension-filled especially on the part of Peter. Here, he has to finally make a stand. In that moment he has to seal his fate with the choice he will make. And so Peter, the vacillating, hot headed and sometimes plainly ignorant Peter stood firm and proud at his new found realization that Jesus is the center of His life. There would be no more room for doubts from then on. Love has finally found a home in Peter’s heart and will stay there for the rest of his life.