- Friday, 18 May 2018 -
Friday of the Seventh week of Easter
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint 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?" He said to him, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." He said to him, "Feed my lambs."
He then said to him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" He said to 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."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint John-Paul II
"Simon, do you love me?"

In his hour of trial Peter denied his Lord three times. And so his voice was trembling when he answered: “Lord, you know that I love you.” Yet he did not say: “All the same, Lord, I let you down”, but: “Lord, you know that I love you.” When he said that, he already knew that Christ is the cornerstone (Acts 4:11) on which, despite his human frailty, there might grow in him, Peter, that building whose form would be love through every situation, every trial, to the end. That is why there would come a time when he would write...: “like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1Pt 2:5). This means nothing else than that we should always and at all times be responding, tenaciously and consistently, to that single question: “Do you love? Do you love me? Do you love me more than these?” For in fact it is this answer, that is to say this love, that makes of us “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people whom God has chosen for his own”. It is this that causes us to proclaim the wonderful works of him who “has called us out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1Pt 2:9). And Peter knew all this in the absolute certainty of his faith, and he knows and continues to confess it also in those who succeed him.

Homily given in Paris 30/05/80