“Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’” (John 21:15)
Have you ever had to repair a spoiled phone? How do you know it is repaired? Is it when it can be switched on or after it has sent and received a message? I think probably the latter — for it is one thing to have a glowing brick and another to have a working phone.
Today we see how Jesus encounters and fixes a broken relationship. St. Peter, who had denied Jesus thrice, was a broken man — for though he could function, go fishing, eat and talk, yet he probably could not bring himself to speak to nor dare to hear what Christ had to say.
And so we see Jesus come and repair the broken relationship — acknowledging him by name, asking him a question, listening to his response and tasking him with a mission — feed His Sheep.
The question for us is; which broken relationship do I need to fix? How is my relationship with Jesus? How can I improve it?
Originally published on Instagram during Paschaltide.
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.” (John 15:9-10)
Have you ever had a friend who amazed you at how selfless or giving they were? Until you met their parents and then it all became clear?
Either their parents are clearly their role models, or else it is clear that they never want to be like their parents and have chosen a different path — a path of love.
In this Gospel, we hear where Christ learnt how to love: from Our Heavenly Father.
We however, sometimes get it wrong and learn how to love from the world. A world that teaches us to “Take an eye for an eye, turn your heart into stone”.
Let us reflect then: from whom did I learn to love? What was the act/acts that proved it? How have I kept my Heavenly Father’s commandments?
“Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said: ‘Holy Father, I pray not only for these, but for those also who through their words will believe in me. May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.” (John 17:20-21)
Have you ever heard of the word “ubuntu”? It is an ancient African word meaning “I am what I am because of who we all are”.
In a way, we become who we are because of the company we keep and the values that we learn.
If we keep in the company of God-loving people, we most likely will become God-loving.
If we hang out with those who bring us away from Christ, we will most likely stay away from Christ and probably bring others away too.
In the Gospel, Jesus’ prayer for us is to be one in Him and our Heavenly Father, the question is; do I desire for that same union? Who do I want to become?
Peter turned and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them – the one who had leaned on His breast at the supper and had said to Him, ‘Lord, who is it that will betray You?’ Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, ‘What about him, Lord?’ Jesus answered, ‘If I want him to stay behind till I come, what does it matter to you? You are to follow Me.’ (John 21:20-22)
Have you ever felt unfairly picked upon? What is our reaction? “How come you didn’t ask person A…? Why can person B do this, but I cannot? …”
It is curious, Jesus did not address the unfairness which St Peter pointed out. Instead, He seemed to chide him even more! Strange how the Just One seems unjust. Or could it be that it is not always a question of fairness but of love?
Many a time we choose to focus on the cost of discipleship and forget the privilege of being chosen as His disciple! We choose to attend to our pride instead of to our love; for the husband of a pregnant wife does not say it is unfair when he might have to put in extra hours to bring home the money needed for the family, nor does a woman in labor say it is unfair to have to suffer so as to see her newborn baby for the first time, nor does the child cry unfair when they spend their hard-earned savings on a Mother’s Day gift.
The question is; how much do I love others as compared to myself? Can I humble myself for those who love me/whom I love? Can I humble myself for Love?
So the divine love is sacrificial love. Love does not mean to have and to own and to possess. It means to be had and to be owned and to be possessed. It is not a circle circumscribed by self, it is arms outstretched to embrace all humanity within its grasp.
— Archbishop Fulton Sheen
Jesus said to His disciples: ‘When the Advocate comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who issues from the Father, he will be My witness. And you too will be witnesses, because you have been with Me from the outset. (John 15:26-27)
If the sight of rose petals falling in the Pantheon is something to behold, I wonder what beauty “tongues of Flame” descending onto the Apostles must have looked like. The change it brought: fear into fearlessness, doubt into conviction, sadness into joy. But it did not come at no cost… The Apostles were surrounded by enemies; never mind their Roman conquerors, what would their fellow men have done if they found out that they belonged to “the King Of The Jews?”
Yet despite all their faults, all these circumstances, all the uncertainty, they were faithful; they stayed in Jerusalem and waited. And so we come to the end of Easter with the Feast of Pentecost — the Advocate’s arrival; the birthday of the Church! The question is; just how much of a witness have I been to the Spirit within? If I am in a trying situation, what does the Holy Spirit instruct? What spirit moves within me?