Seeing Jesus and Peter together again in today’s Gospel after Peter’s denial to Jesus three times (cf. Jn18:17,25-27) speaks to me of the overwhelming love of God despite abandonment and betrayal. Psychology would say that our usual reaction to an experience of betrayal is shocking, to anger, and grief, that can lead to isolation and sadness, even to the point of depression. But today’s scenario tells the opposite. After a strong and traumatic experience of betrayal, we see Jesus guiding his disciples so they will have a catch of fish, inviting them for a meal after a work telling; “Come have breakfast.” (cf. Jn.21;6,12) And an intimate and personal encounter of Peter to Jesus after the betrayal. And here Jesus asked him three times; “Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again, Jesus said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me? Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. (cf. Jn.21;15-17). Peter experienced of an overwhelming love of God. A love that forgives, and does not seek for revenge. A love that gives chances and opportunities than to saw anger and resentment. A love that embraces flaws and sinfulness. A love that never gets tired of letting the beloved know that he is loved even he does not understand it. A love that is pure, and constant. A love that never changes and remain faithful despite one’s inconstancies and infidelities.
And as we partake and receive Jesus in today’s Eucharistic celebration, let us beg Him to experience deeply His love and mercy. To let us let him embrace us, of our weakness, flaws and sinfulness and be forgiven by His compassionate love for us. And be consoled of His unwavering love for us.