May 22, 2015 FRIDAY, 7th Week of Easter
St. Rita of Cascia, Religious
Acts 25:13b – 21 / Jn 21: 15 - 19
[Having been widowed, St. Rita of Cascia (1381 – 1457) spent long years in penance, prayer and service to the poor and sick.]
Reading: Acts 25: 13b – 21
Some days later King Agrippa and his sister Bernice arrived in Caesarea to greet Festus. 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: Jn 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."
Simon Peter was so enthusiastic and loyal to Jesus at his arrest that cut off the right ear of the high priest's servant. However, before maid servants Peter denied him three times. This was the same Peter who had insisted, "Though I have to die with you, I will never deny you." (Mk 14: 31)
Christ asks Peter three times if he loves him: three times, not to be assured of Peter's love but rather to remind Peter of his weakness and betrayal of Jesus. Christ gave Peter, the weak one who denied him, the leadership of his Church. Christ trusted Peter despite his weakness because Peter knew how to repent. Peter knew himself very well, that he was a sinner.
If we are to follow Christ, we must first abandon our way of thinking, the direction we are taking. Oftentimes the will of God may be against our own will. The path the Lord for us may be the one we do not like. But inspired by the Holy Spirit, we eventually follow him and allow God to lead us to where he wills.
Peter the coward was chosen by the Lord to become the first leader of the Church and to die with loyalty and faith. If God can give this privilege to Peter, he can certainly give this gift to anyone. God clothes our imperfections and gives us love for him and a newfound zeal for evangelization. This is what it means to feed the sheep. It is to announce the Good News and bring salvation to the people of God unrelentlessly and unceasingly.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
GEMMA RITA R. MARIN
RONA RIZZA G. MARFA
LUIS & SUSANA
IN MEMORIAM (+)
RAMON NG TONG (SEP 21, 1916 – MAY 22, 2001)
For the eternal repose of the soul of Bernardo Santiago.
For the healing & speedy recovery of Ely Ymbang who is gravely ill.
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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