Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Today’s gospel recounts how Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him and after Peter’s response Jesus asked him to care for his flock. Jesus asks Peter three times, no doubt a reference to the three times Peter denied knowing Jesus prior to the crucifixion. Jesus’ request in John echoes the question asked of Jesus concerning the greatest of the commandments. Jesus’ response was simple: Love of God and love of neighbor.
When we look at the history of the church, our brightest moments have been those times when the church has led people to a love of God and then through that love to a love and care for our neighbor. So many saints have made it quite clear that they were not social workers but rather men and women who saw in the poor, the ignorant, the addicted or someone who is going through their teenage years as the object of love and patience in fulfillment of Jesus’s divine command.