Archive for April 11th, 2020

Saturday, April 11, 2020

John 21:15-19

PWmorningshorea1[1]Peter’s Return

A few brief weeks ago we spent time reflecting with Peter’s three-fold denial of Christ.  Today – putting this denial into the context of the Easter story – we spend time with Peter’s three-fold return.

Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?

The disciples have returned to their boats and nets, looking for a bit of stability after the resurrection of Jesus.  He had told them to return to Galilee to await him there and this they have done.

Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.

Seven of the Christ’s disciples have just spent a fruitless night of labor hauling up nets devoid of fish;  they are exhausted and frustrated.  What, they wonder, awaits them next?

Feed my lambs.

Then that voice had called out across the water suggesting that they cast their nets on the other side of the boat.

Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?

Peter had nodded them into action.  They had done as the stranger suggested and now . . . the net was so full it nearly burst as they heaved it into the boat.

Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.

It was John who keyed into it first.  “It is the Lord”, he had said quietly.

Tend my sheep.

Peter had jumped into the water while the rest of them pulled the laden boat onto the stony beach.

Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?

And now they sat around the brazier while Jesus prepared a breakfast to restore their weakened bodies and spirit.

Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.

Peter allows Jesus’ eyes to lock with his; he does not flinch or look away.  His gaze holds the Christ’s – or Christ holds his – as they both remember that night not long ago when Peter sat beside another fire and denied that he knew the man called Jesus.  Both Peter and Jesus know that the disciple is being invited to undo his denials.  Now distressed yet resolute, Peter can do nothing but say what is in his heart and on his mind.

Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you.

Peter, who denied knowing Jesus just as predicted now becomes the rock upon which the Lord has already begun to build his church.  Peter, who denied having traveled in the company of the Teacher has already learned that all things are possible in and through Christ.  Peter, who wept bitterly at his lack of courage, has learned that there is nothing to fear when we live in and with Christ.

Feed my sheep.

Each of us is given the opportunity to sit across from the Lord and connect with him above the fire of our denial.  Each of us is offered the opening of renewal in God.  Each of us is given the gift of rebirth and freedom from fear.

Follow me.

Each of us may tell anyone who will listen that we follow Jesus the Galilean. Each of us may remain silent when challenged by choices that are difficult to make. Each of us may turn and return to the Lord. Each of us may give our fear and anxiety over to the Christ. And each of us may decide to follow the Lord with open, contrite and eager hearts.

For another reflection on today’s Noontime reading, click on the image above or go to: http://villagegreendunwoody.com/day-40-saturday-feed-my-sheep

To visit the Noontime reflection about Peter’s denial, go to: https://thenoontimes.com/2013/03/16/

To reflect again on this portion of in John’s Gospel that we have been visiting in recent days, we may want to return to some of the sites we explored earlier this week. 

For some interesting facts about the Sea of Galilee/Tiberias today, go to: http://www.this-is-galilee.com/sea-of-galilee.html or http://www.seetheholyland.net/sea-of-galilee-article-israeloutside-jerusalem/ or http://www.atlastours.net/holyland/sea_of_galilee.html or http://www.sacred-destinations.com/israel/jesus-boat

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