Friday, Seventh Week of Easter

John 21:15-19

Our Gospel texts during Eastertide have laid before us many themes. They weave in and out of each other and form a kind of fabric. Amongst the many themes, these stand out for me: Love, Glory, Life, Believe in Jesus and Truth.

Today it is Love that is to be our focus as we re-visit the scene with Jesus and Peter, on the shore at Tiberias.

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

For me this is one of the most profound and challenging questions that Jesus asks in the Gospels. Jesus is about to entrust Peter with the care and leadership of his followers. Every meal shared, every story told and every sign and wonder worked has led to this moment. Peter has grown in relationship with Jesus and it is from this place that he responds. Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him and each time Peter responds. Peter is commissioned to ‘feed’ and to ‘tend’ those in his care.

However we might understand Church leadership and authority today, its roots are in relationship. Henry Wansbrough osb comments on the three fold question and response:

Its form makes it clear that it is a demanding service of love and care, not a comfortable dominance of rank and authority.

How is Christ calling you to serve?