Friday, 09 May 2008
Friday of the Seventh week of Easter
Today the Church celebrates : St. Pachomius,
Saint Augustine : "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you."
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 21,15-19.
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." He said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him 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." He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."
Commentary of the day :
Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Guelferbytanus Sermon 16,1; PLS 2,579 (©Friends of Henry Ashworth)
The Lord appeared once again to his disciples after his resurrection, and questioning Peter, who from fear had thrice denied him, extracted from him a threefold declaration of love. Christ had been raised to life in the flesh and Peter to life in the spirit; for when Christ died as a result of the torments he endured, Peter was also dead as a result of denying his master. Christ the Lord was raised from the dead; Christ the Lord raised up Peter through Peter's love for him. And having obtained from him the assurance of that love, he entrusted his sheep to Peter's care.
We may wonder what advantage there could be for Christ in Peter's love for him. If Christ loves you, you profit, not Christ; and if you love him, again the advantage is yours, not his. But wishing to show us how we should demonstrate our love for him, Christ the Lord made it plain that it is by our concern for his sheep.
«Simon, son of John, Do you love me?» he asked. «I do love you.» «Then feed my sheep.» Once, twice, and a third time the same dialogue was repeated. To the Lord's one and only question, Peter had no other answer than «I do love you.» And each time the Lord gave Peter the same command: «Feed my sheep.» Let us love one another then, and by so doing we shall be loving Christ.