Homily for Friday of the 7th Week of Easter

After Jesus was arrested, Peter denied Jesus three times. After He rose from the dead, Jesus appeared to Peter and asked him three times, “Do you love me?” The question Jesus asked was not, “Why did you deny me?” but “Do you love me?” The question focuses not on the past but on the present.

The question, “Do you love me?” is one that Jesus asks us as well. The question calls us to make Jesus the focus of our love; He is to be our deepest love.

Earlier in John’s gospel, Jesus had said, “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you, remain in my love.” That relationship of love between the LORD and us is the core of our faith; all else flows from that love and presupposes it.  

Peter could not be commissioned to feed the LORD’S flock until he first declared publicly his love for the LORD. Our own personal relationship with the LORD comes before any work we might do in His name. Our life of faith, our sharing in the LORD’S work of caring for His flock, for each other, is the living out of a personal relationship of love with the LORD.+

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