Daily Gospel Reflection – Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
Bishop Robert Barron
Memorial of Saint Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs
Gospel: Jn 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.”
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him. Thus the Lord gave Peter the opportunity to be reconciled with him for his threefold denial.
What does the word "reconciliation" mean? It is derived from the latin term cilia, meaning eyelashes. To be re-conciled is to be brought eyelash to eyelash with another, to see face to face, eye to eye.
Jesus was perceived by the first Christians as the fulfillment of this hope of Israel. He was himself, in person, the reconciliation of divinity and humanity. This is why Paul calls him the New Adam. This is why the doctrinal tradition refers to him as true God and true man.
This is also why Jesus is called Soter, Salvator, Savior. He is the healer of the rift between God and the human race. And Jesus’ whole ministry, therefore, is one of reconciliation, of restoring humanity to right praise, to orthodoxy, to harmony and adoration.