Thursday, May 16, 2013

Feed My Sheep

Feed My Sheep

May 17, 2013
Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

By Melanie Rigney
 (In referring Paul’s case to King Agrippa, Festus said:) “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)
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name.  (Psalms 103:1)
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. 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.” (John 21:17-18)

Lord, let me be fearless in my love for you and in proclaiming it to the world.

“Feed my sheep,” the risen Christ told Peter. He didn’t sugarcoat what Peter’s future as a shepherd of the flock would entail; he implied Peter would end up crucified. And yet this man who had denied Christ three times in the hours after Jesus’s own earthly death didn’t flinch this time, other than becoming a little exasperated why his friend kept asking if he loved him.

Peter, ever the questioner, ever the one who sought clarity and specificity about what Christ was saying, no longer needed that comfort. He didn’t ask Christ what feeding the sheep would entail or how he would do it or how long he was supposed to do it. Other than a final snit about his place vs. John’s, Peter was ready to take on the most challenging job of his life, shepherding the ragtag bunch of believers and believers-to-be in the days and years following Christ’s ascension. He would do it fearlessly. He would do it well. He would feed them all as best he could. He would do it with love until his last day, setting an example we would be wise to follow to this day.

Whom in your life are you failing to feed because you find the person obnoxious or annoying? Listen carefully. How many times must Jesus say to you, “Do you love me?”

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