Jesus reminds us this weekend that he is our helper and guide. No matter how many times we stumble and fall he is there to lift us up again. His mercy overcomes our failures. Are we ready to receive him?
The dialog between Jesus and Peter testifies to the mercy of the Lord and our readiness. Jesus does not question Peter three times whether he loves him because he wants to be sure. Jesus already knows he loves him, but he is offering a path to lift Peter up. He is helping Peter to restore his relationship with him. Peter’s threefold denial of Jesus rejected that relationship and the status of his discipleship. What is interesting is that Jesus calls him by his original name Simon, son of John and not by the name he gave him, Peter (the rock). It reveals how Peter’s action of denying Jesus denied his own identity. This response is also similar with Peter’s resistance of Jesus washing his feet. Unless Peter allowed Jesus in to cleanse him and be reconciled, he would not be in right relationship with him. Therefore, Peter would not be ready to tend to the flock, Christ’s Church. Peter’s three-fold response with “Yes, you know that I love you” is his acknowledgement that the Lord knows all things and he receives him as his Shepherd. Peter is ready to follow once again.
We can be like Peter throughout our life when sometimes our ego’s go in overdrive to defend and protect us. We block ourselves from Christian service as a result. We lose sight of our way. Without the Lord we cannot be successful in being catchers of men and women in the strong net of his Church.
Love of Christ and others mean we take responsibility for our actions, we accept being vulnerable, and we sacrifice in our ministry as disciples of Jesus. When we receive Jesus and realign ourselves in relationship with him, we will see as he sees. We will not feel threatened by diversity in people but see unity in each other. We will not let fear take hold of us from being a disciple. We will be ready to follow Jesus and set out into the deep letting him guide us to tend to the flock.