Friday, May 09, 2008

Today's Gospel is that touching story of the Risen Jesus asking Peter "Do you love me?" Three times. As in Peter's "before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times." As is "I do not know the man!"
Jesus didn't ask the same question three times. Two times, he asked Peter, "Do you agape-love me?" And Peter said, "I philo-love you." So the third time, Jesus said, "Do you philo-love me?"
That hurt.
But Peter just said, "You know everything. You know how I love you." Because now Peter is "in Christ"; all his thoughts were completely open to "the one who searches hearts." As Paul would later write to the Corinthians, "We are in your hearts, to live together and to die together."
Jesus in effect said that by the end of Peter's life, that friendly affection of Peter's would be transformed into self-giving sacrificial love, and he encouraged Peter to take that road by telling him, "Follow me."
Today would be a good day to read the First Letter of Peter in your Bible. Notice how many times Peter keeps going back to the theme of the sufferings of the Messiah, Jesus. He was following that Jesus by constantly meditating on the Lord's death and resurrection. (Tradition has it that Peter never stopped weeping over his part in the Lord's suffering; the old vestment called a "maniple," a kind of hanging armband, represented the handkerchief with which Peter kept drying his eyes.)
"Follow me."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is there a blogger award for genius in semantics coupled with humility? Just musing