Commentary on the Gospel of
In today’s New Testament reading from John, the Risen Christ spoke to Simon Peter asking about his love. Simon appears to have been a bit incredulous at the question. Of course, of course! “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” I Love You.
Until reflecting upon today’s Gospel reading I’ve taken for granted that I love Jesus, and more importantly, as Simon noted, that because God is all-knowing, that Jesus already knows that I love him. Perhaps you’ve taken it for granted, also? But on this reflection, I realize that I’ve not routinely said these words in reference to Jesus or directly TO Jesus in prayer. We all regularly state some version of “I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son….” And many, many times I’ve sung or said Jesus Loves Me! This I Know! Yet I really don’t say “Jesus, I love you.”
It may have been frustrating to Simon that Jesus asked him this question three times over. But I needed to read it three times over! It took three times for me to feel the impact necessary to recognize the hesitation I’ve carried in maintaining a personal, conversational, and loving relationship with Christ. Until I do, I cannot effectively “Feed” or “Tend” his flock. I can and regularly do go through the motions! But am I truly embodying and voicing Christ’s love? Jesus challenged Simon that if he truly loved his Christ, then he would carry on the work, share the word, share Christ’s love and, by so doing, glorify God.
If you’ve shared my feelings of an inadequate relationship with Jesus, maybe you can share in my request today: “God, can you help me? Please help me to ever deepen my relationship with you through your Son, Jesus Christ; to nurture and deepen my personal relationship such that I can truly say both “I believe in you” and “I love you;” and, to then share that love freely. Amen.”