Today is Friday the 21 May, in the seventh week of Easter.
The community of Taizé sing, Viešpatie tu viska žinai: “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.”
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." A second time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" And he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go." (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, "Follow me."
This scene takes place after the resurrection. We recall how, not long ago, Peter had denied all knowledge of Jesus, in the High Priest's courtyard, by a glowing fire. What do you notice, then, about this scene where Jesus asks Peter three times, "Do you love me?"
Jesus doesn’t ask Peter for an apology. When I’ve let Jesus down in some way, do I take the hint and say to Jesus, "You know I love you," instead of making excuses or apologies?
Listen again to the words of the story. Notice how readily Jesus forgives. Notice how he immediately gives Peter an important job to do, full of trust in Peter's good will.
Speak to Jesus now. Tell Jesus, if you want to “pick yourself up, dust yourself down, and start all over again” Ask to be shown the sheep and the lambs that he wants you to feed, the people he wants you to care for.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.