Thursday, June 05, 2014
Friday 7th Week of Easter
Friday 7th Week of Easter
[St. Norbert, Bishop]
Acts 25: 13b-21 / Ps 103: 1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab / Jn 21:15-19
Reading: Acts 25:13b-21
As they were to stay there several days, Festus told the king about Paul's case and said to him, "We have here a man whom Felix left as a prisoner. When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews accused him and asked me to sentence him. I told them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over a man without giving him an opportunity to defend himself in front of his accusers. So they came and I took my seat without delay on the tribunal and sent for the man. When the accusers had the floor, they did not accuse him of any of the crimes that I was led to think he had committed; instead they quarreled with him about religion and about a certain Jesus who has died but whom Paul asserted to be alive. I did not know what to do about this case, so I asked Paul if he wanted to go to Jerusalem to be tried there. But Paul appealed to be judged by the emperor. So I ordered that he be kept in custody until I send him to Caesar."
Gospel: John 21: 15-19
After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." And Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." A second time Jesus said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" And Peter answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Look after my sheep." And a third time he said to him, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus then said, "Feed my sheep. Truly, I say to you, when you were young you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and another will put a belt around you and lead you where you do not wish to go." Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And he added, "Follow me."
Picture yourself as Peter when Jesus asks you, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Jesus asks you further, "Do you know that I love you?" Wouldn't you respond by saying, "Lord, you know I love you. Thank you for coming back to me. I weep for the hurt and harm that I have sinfully inflicted on you and others. I failed you, but right now what I need most is your love. Comfort me and assure me of your love so that I can move on with my life."
Again Jesus asks, "Simon, son of John, do you love me? Do you love me with all your heart? Do you love me so that you also know my heart? My sheep are hungry, thirsty, and scattered. Some are in darkness lacking knowledge of who I am and what I have done to them. Do you really love me?" Wouldn't you reply and say, "Lord, you know I love you. I need your love to free me to pursue you. Love makes me wanting to feel and know your heart and mind. I want to hear your voice more closely. I want to share your thinking, your goals, and your motivations for doing things."
Third time Jesus asks, "Simon, son of John, do you love me? Do you love me and love your neighbor? Do you love them so as to leave the ninety-nine in search of the one who is lost? Do you love them that you will give the most loving thing you can offer and are willing to sacrifice everything you have for them?" Wouldn't you respond and say "Lord, you know I love you. I need your love to fill my heart, transform my mind, and free me to give myself in loving service to others."
Perhaps at the end of the day, Jesus still asks: "After all we have gone through, after all the experiences of pain and disappointment, do you love me? Even though the other day you let me down, even though your words have hurt me so much, do you love me?
The gospel today is an encounter of celebration, marked by tenderness and affection. Jesus would so much like to see you with a loving heart...he's not asking for plans, words or intentions - but for love. He wishes us to replace every denial, every sin, with a statement of our love for him. His question of "do you love me?" opens the door of love and caring, the door of understanding and belonging together, the door in which emotions count and affection is essential.
If you feel that you do not know how to love God, or how to feel God's love, it may help to ponder his question "Do you love me?" The love of God, being loved by God, loving God, is what gives our lives their shape and form, their texture and their fullness.
Let us close with a prayer:
Fall In Love
Nothing is more practical than finding God,
than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination will affect everything.
It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
by Fr. Pedro Arrupe, S.J.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... for families who are in need of healing
... for world peace and reconciliation
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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