Do you love me?
Readings: 1st: Acts 22:30; 23, 6-11; Ps: 16; Gos: John 17:20-26
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
On this Thursday of the Seventh week of Easter, our gospel reading is from the last chapter of the gospel according to John known as the epilogue.
It is the concluding part of the encounter and dialogue of Christ with his disciples before his ascension into heaven. The scene is the shore sea of Tiberias, during the third and last apparition of Christ to his apostles.
This last encounter is marked by tenderness and affection. Christ asked Peter thrice: “Simon son of John, do you love me? Through these questions, Christ wanted to be sure of Peter’s commitment to lead his flock.
After Christ received the same affirmative response from Peter for three time, then he entrusted him with the mission of taking care of his flock. This also showed the magnitude of the mission that Christ was to entrust to Peter. It was only after an affirmative answer that Christ gave Peter his mission
This reminds us that our mission and vocation is a very important one. In order to be able to work in the community, or accomplish our mission anywhere, Jesus does not ask us anything extraordinary. He simply asks us for much love.
Therefore, love must be at the center of our mission. With a sincere and authentic love for Christ and his mission, we can succeed even in the face of many tribulations and trials.
Of course, Christ never promised that Peter’s mission, or ours will be an easy one. No, it will upset our peace and bring us some problems. Also, it will take us to where we do not wish to go or be. However, if it is sustained by love, we will never give up.
So, as we celebrate this next Pentecost, let us ask God to send us the Holy Spirit, the principal agent of mission, in order to sustain in love all the time.
Let us pray: Come, Holy Spirit, fill the heart of the Faithful, and enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Peace be with you all!