What a powerful revealing truth from the weekend's Gospel of John of the Lord's merciful love!
Jesus confronts the Apostle Peter on the shore of the Sea of Galilee during the period of appearing following the resurrection of Our Lord. On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter denied three times to have known Our Lord, just as Jesus predicted during the Last Supper. On the Sea of Galilee, Jesus asks the Apostle Peter three times if he loved him, which reflects the three-time denial. Peter responds to each question by answering, "Lord, you know that I love you."
You and I know the emotions that stir up within us when we face the people who have hurt us deeply or we face the people who have hurt or offended through our human weakness. It is not easy for us to forgive others or bring up a spirit of courage to ask for forgiveness to those who have been wounded by our actions.
Jesus forgave Peter and then goes further to entrust Peter to tend to the sheep and feed His lambs!
If we do not comprehend no understand forgiveness, then we do not know Jesus Christ, the true source of love and mercy. Jesus knows us, especially how difficult and challenging it is for us to forgive others or for us to be courageous and humble to ask forgiveness to those we have hurt. Jesus forgave us and He offers us the opportunity to receive the fullness of the grace of His love and mercy.
Every day, Jesus asks us, "Do you love me?"
What is our honest response and do our daily actions back up our response?
Rev. David Edwards
Pastor, St. James Catholic Church