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Do You Love Me?

 
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Prayer-Soldier
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PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:18 am    Post subject: Do You Love Me? Reply with quote

Do You Love Me?

Scripture:


And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest asked them, saying: Commanding, we commanded you that you should not teach in this name. And behold, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine: and you have a mind to bring the blood of this man upon us. But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers has raised up Jesus, whom you put to death, hanging him upon a tree. Him has God exalted with his right hand, to be Prince and Savior to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins. And we are witnesses of these things: and the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to all that obey him.

And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them that they should not speak at all in the name of Jesus. And they dismissed them. And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. And every day they ceased not, in the temple and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ Jesus.

(Acts 5:27-32, 40-42)

And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the living creatures and the ancients (and the number of them was thousands of thousands), saying with a loud voice: The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and benediction. And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard all saying: To him that sits on the throne and to the Lamb, benediction and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever. And the four living creatures said: Amen. And the four and twenty ancients fell down on their faces and adored him that lives for ever and ever.
(Revelation 5:11-14)

After this, Jesus showed himself to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias. And he showed himself after this manner. There were together: Simon Peter and Thomas, who is called Didymus, and Nathanael, who was of Cana of Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them: I go a fishing. They say to him: We also come with you. And they went forth and entered into the ship: and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was come, Jesus stood on the shore: yet the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them: Children, have you any meat? They answered him: No. He said to them: Cast the net on the right side of the ship; and you shall find. They cast therefore: and now they were not able to draw it, for the multitude of fishes.

That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him (for he was naked) and cast himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the ship (for they were not far from the land, but as it were two hundred cubits) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they came to land they saw hot coals lying, and a fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus said to them: Bring hither of the fishes which you have now caught.

Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty-three. And although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them: Come and dine. And none of them who were at meat, dared ask him: Who are you? Knowing that it was the Lord. And Jesus comes and takes bread and gives them: and fish in like manner.

This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to his disciples, after he was risen from the dead. When therefore they had dined, Jesus said to Simon Peter: Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? He said to him: Yea, Lord, you know that I love you. He said to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him again: Simon, son of John, do you love me? He said to him: yes, Lord, you know that I love you. He said to him: Feed my lambs. He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter was grieved because he had said to him the third time: Do you love me? And he said to him: Lord, you know all things: you know that I love you. He said to him: Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you did gird yourself and did walk where you would. But when you shall be old, you shall stretch forth your hands, and another shall gird you and lead you whither you would not. And this he said, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him: Follow me.

(John 21:1-19)

Reflection:

Our courage is rarely known until the moment we are tested. Simon, which Jesus called Peter, was chosen by Jesus to be a leader with a task of significant responsibility. (Matthew 16:18-19) Peter would later tell his Lord that Peter would die for Him and would not deny Him. (Matthew 26:35) Peter was sincere in his desire to serve the Lord, but as Peter faced the test, he denied his Lord three times as Jesus foretold. (Matthew 26:75)

The temptation of many would be to judge Peter for his weakness, especially one so trusted, but we must consider that we have all failed our Lord and deny Him through our sin. We must also consider that although Peter failed in one moment, Jesus did not give up on him, nor did Jesus withdraw the responsibility Jesus placed upon Him. After the Son of Man rose from the tomb and before He went to be with the Father, He came to Peter and asked him, ?Do you love me??

Three times Jesus asked. Three times Peter responded. Three times Jesus told Peter what he must do. The proof as to whether Peter would do as His Savior asked was not found in Peter's word, but in his action. The speaking and sharing of words come easy from the lips, but truth, sincerity, and commitment are not always found in what is spoken. They are revealed through what is done. As it was for Peter, so it is for us all.

Jesus said to His disciples, ?If you love me, you will keep my commandments.? (John 14:15) He also told them, ?This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.? (John 13:35) Jesus did not only speak, but He also demonstrated His resolve for the blessing of all the children of His Heavenly Father's creation through His sacrifice from upon the cross.

The day will come for each of us; indeed the question has already been asked, ?Do you love me?? Just as Peter responded, the words may come forth from us, ?Yes, Lord, you know that I love you,? but will we be prepared for the question likely to follow, ?And how would I know??

Did Jesus know when Peter denied Him three times? Did Peter know? When Peter realized what he had said versus what he had done, he broke down and wept for his actions revealed the emptiness of what he professed. (Mark 14:72) For each of us, the question will be, what will we do when we reflect upon what we profess versus what is revealed by what we do?

Our temptation in the midst of conflict is to respond with insult for insult and evil for evil. Indeed, satisfaction may well up in us as we respond to wrong with wrong, but which heart is revealed as the stronger when we lash out? What issue is resolved as we impose personal wills and levy harm? What blessing is shared through the absence of love? As we face those who surround us, what do we demonstrate to our Lord in response to His command to us to love one another? (cf. John 13:34)

Let us remember, the test of our resolve will not come through those dear to us, but through those who are strangers to us, those who are in opposition to us, and those who persecute us. In prayer, let us ask for the wisdom, courage, and strength through which we may demonstrate our resolve to live the love to which we are called. (cf. Matthew 22:36-40)

Questions for further reflection:

In what ways do our words and deeds demonstrate what is in our heart?

In what ways did Jesus demonstrated His love for us?

To what does God call us to demonstrate our love for Him and one another?

May the peace and blessings of the Lord be with you always,
Prayer Soldier

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