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Monday, June 10, 2013

"Do you love me?" the Lord asks you

by Heidi

File:Ingres, Jean - Jesus Returning the Keys to St. Peter - 1820.jpg
Jesus Returning the Keys to Peter  by Ingres (Photo: Wikimedia)

Do you pray with the Scriptures?  When you read them, do you allow a word or a scene from the passage to speak to you in your heart and draw out from you a prayer?  It is essential for each of us enter into prayer in this way.  Yet, it is a direction that many "voices" - from the world, and from your own ego - will dissuade you from; because it will reveal your idols, your weaknesses.  The Lord seeks to lead us out of those "Egypts" in each one of our souls.  To do so demands much; it demands a love that endures all things, hopes all things and to be completely truthful, I do not have that love yet.  That is important for me to understand, not for me to despair but so that I can live in His truth, endure in His light and be drawn up into a more perfect love by following His voice.  

Consider this passage from John 21: 1-19:

               When they had finished breakfast, Jesus 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.”
               Jesus said to him,“Tend my sheep.”  Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon,
               son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus 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.”

I need to live in His truth, I need to know who I am and  who I am called to be in His truth.  I need it desperately, and our whole culture is dying for lack of this truth.  In this Gospel, through the questions of Jesus, Peter is taken back into the bitter, memory of his betrayal of the Lord, in order to receive the profound, unfathomable mercy of Jesus so that he can be drawn up into His perfect love. What courage this takes!  We, who are so easily offended, we, who so often confess our failings in a self-justifying context, are also taken through the drama of the Lord's threefold questioning of Peter.

Continue reading Heidi's reflection at  Journey to Wisdom. 

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