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The Demands of Love

by May 26, 2023Friar Reflection

Jesus asks Peter three questions:

Do you love these more than these?  They were in a boat and Jesus may have been referring to the fishing equipment and the catch of fish.  He may have been asking if Peter was willing to give up his job, and reasonably comfortable life to give himself to the ministry to others, that Jesus was calling him to.

Jesus may have been asking, do you love me more that your companions, the rest of the disciples?  He may have been reminding Peter that Peter once said that even if the other disciples abandon him, he will not abandon him.  And yet he did.

Jesus asks the question three times.  The reason, it was three times that Peter had denied Jesus when things looked bad for Jesus.  Peter then was looking out for just himself.

In now responding yes to Jesus, “Lord you know that I love you.”  Peter was given a task, the responsibility of caring for Christ’s “sheep” for the people of God, the individuals in the early Christian community.

Finally, Peter was given a cross, Jesus said, “When you are young you can choose where you will go, but the day will come when they will stretch out your hands on a cross and you will be taken away; you did not choose.”

Jesus was referring to the way that Peter would die and indeed, he died on a cross but he asked to be crucified upside down for he said that he was not worthy to die as his lord died.

The Gospel story reminds us that love always involves responsibility and always involves sacrifice.

Image: “Jesus entrusts his flock to St Peter” by Lawrence OP is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.