| John 21: 15-19
After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs." He then said to Simon Peter a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Simon Peter answered him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Tend my sheep." He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was distressed that he had said to him a 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. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, "Follow me."
Today's prayer intention - for those who are traveling.
Part of my job when I was a child was to feed the dog. So, I would go to the container of food, scoop out some dog food (I almost started to type "dawg food") and then put it in the dog's bowl.
I wonder if Peter knew what he was going to be feeding Christ's sheep. He has seen Christ multiply the loaves and fishes. He has seen Christ give His Body and His Blood in the Eucharist. How would he feed Christ's sheep?
Feeding the family dog, I thought that she mainly ate dog food. Every now and then, I would see my parents give her beef bones. I knew what to feed our dog because of what I have seen and what I have been told.
Peter saw the miracles. As the first Pope, he would also be the head of the Church, through Whom we receive the Sacraments, and in particular, the Eucharist. He would lead the Church because God called him to.
Being a lay person, I cannot consecrate the Eucharist. What I can do is appreciate those who have been called to serve ... those who have given their lives so that Christ's sheep may be fed ... those who have given been consecrated by God Himself to be His presence in the world. If we appreciate the priesthood and all that they are called to, then we wouldn't we know profoundly that Christ loves us?
I always took this reading as a call to action to love by giving of myself. I fed our dog not because I loved the dog, but rather because I loved my parents and I wanted to be obedient to them. I never really thought about this reading as a way to appreciate those who stand "in persona Christi" so that I, one of the sheep of Our Lord, may come to know God's love. Take care and God Bless.