Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (21: 15-19), in which Jesus asks Simon Peter ‘do you love me?’ and Simon Peter replies, ‘Yes, Lord; you know I love you’.
The Gospel we hear today, Fr Paul notes, is a prelude to the coming of the Spirit on the Church. Peter, here, is asking for forgiveness for his triple betrayal during the Passion of Jesus. It reminds us that the Church is forever a community of forgiveness.
This Gospel also highlights the position Peter holds, which is highlighted in all four Gospels. Along with the triple forgiveness, we find the triple commission for Peter. Peter is to serve the Church with love and care, not with rank or authority. Peter is also left in no doubt that by doing this it will, like Jesus, cost him his life.
For our prayer today, Fr Paul says we might ask through Peter’s intercession that we, too, may serve the Church with love and care.