Jesus tells Peter ‘Feed my sheep’
Over the next couple of days, with our Easter season coming to an end and Pentecost just around the corner, Fr Paul will read from the end of John’s Gospel. In today’s reading (John 21:15-19) we hear Simon Peter given a command summed up in Jesus’ last two words “Follow me”.
Jesus is engaged in a one-on-one dialogue with Peter – he is speaking directly to Peter because Peter needs to ask and receive forgiveness for his previous denials of Jesus just prior to the crucifixion.
Jesus ask Peter three times, ‘Do you love me?’ symbolically matching Peter’s three denials.
All four Gospels highlight the importance of Peter’s position and through the questioning we hear in this Gospel, Jesus commissions Peter to love, to care and to serve; he is not to dominate by rank or authority. Peter is commissioned to go out and promote the church as a community of forgiveness.
Peter is also left in no doubt about the cost of being a disciple of Jesus – in witnessing to Jesus; he will die a similar death.
Today, Fr Paul says let’s reflect on how well we’ve lived the commissioning gifts Peter was commanded to carry out by Jesus: How well in my life do I love, care, forgive and serve others?