Thursday, May 24, 2012
Feed My Sheep
May 25, 2012
Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
By Melanie Rigney
(Festus said in referring Paul’s case to King Agrippa:) “His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected. Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive.” (Acts 25:18-19)
The Lord has established his throne in heaven. (Psalms 103:19)
Peter was distressed that (Jesus) 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.” (John 21:17)
Lord, let my answers to Your questions be full of joy and confidence and awareness of what loving You means to me and to those I know.
Talk is cheap.
Twice already, Peter had told Jesus he loved him. Twice already, Jesus had told him in
essence that if Peter loved Jesus, to care for the other followers. Remember, Peter’s love had been tested before the crucifixion, when he boasted he would always stand by Jesus, no matter what the others did—and then failed to do so.
But this is a different Peter. If Peter doesn’t know it, Jesus does. In today’s Gospel reading, he goes on to tell Peter this journey on the Lord’s behalf will take him to places he doesn’t want to go. And this Peter, soon to be fired by the Holy Spirit is ready. Ultimately, like Paul and many others, he will die a martyr for spreading the news of the Jesus’ resurrection and the promise of eternal life for his followers.
Talk is cheap.
It’s easy to offer prayers of praise to God. If having a meaningful relationship with the Lord meant just telling Him that we love, worship, and adore Him, this life would be so simple. It’s harder when He asks us to reflect that love to others, whether they return it or not, whether we feel human love for them or not. But that’s what He calls us to do. The funny thing is that the more we attempt to love in God’s name our annoying neighbors, backstabbing coworkers, negative family members, and catty acquaintances, the easier it becomes; the more confident we grow in faith. Will any of us be called before the authorities to defend our faith? Perhaps it depends on your definition of authority, for we defend the faith whenever we reach out in love in His name, expecting nothing in return. Action may not be cheap… but it becomes easier the more we grow in grace.
Please add to your prayers the five seminarians in our diocese who will be ordained to the transitional diaconate on June 2 and the three deacons who will be ordained to the priesthood June 9.
Pray that Christ’s message of showing love for him by caring for others inspires their hearts and souls.