13 - Jesus confronts Peter

O sing to the Lord a new song

All        for he has done marvellous things.  Alleluia. 

 

 Bible reading – John 21:15-19

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.’ 16A 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.’ 17He 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. 18Very 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.’ 19(He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’

 

Reflection

There is some unfinished business and a meal in the open air is a good opportunity to address it.  Hospitality puts people at ease and softens the edges of difficult conversations, and Peter is about to have a difficult conversation with the risen Jesus.  “Remember saying you would never desert me Peter, what about those denials in the courtyard?”  Peter doesn’t need reminding, he is quite capable of beating himself up over this and has been doing so ever since.  He needs Jesus’ healing questions about love to set him free.  Peter knows precisely what ‘Do you love me’ asked three times refers to and even though he is hurt by his own memory the commission that follows proclaims forgiveness.  If he is going to proclaim forgiveness to others he needs to accept it himself first, as we do.

 

Risen Lord,

you restored Peter after his denial.

Redeem the hurt of past mistakes

and set us free to serve you.  Amen.


Response 

            Sing to the Lord, bless his name

All        tell of his salvation from day to day.  Alleluia.

 

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