May 18, 2018 (Friday) 7th Week of Easter St. John I, pope & martyr Psalter: Week 3/(White/Red) Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
1st Reading: Acts 25:13b-21
Some days later, king Agrippa, and his sister Bernice, arrived in Caesarea to greet Festus. As they were to stay there several days, Festus told the king about Paul’s case, and said to him, “We have here, a man, whom Felix left as a prisoner. When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests, and the elders of the Jews accused him, and asked me to sentence him. I told them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over a man without giving him an opportunity to defend himself in front of his accusers. So they came, and I took my seat, without delay, on the tribunal, and sent for the man.
When the accusers had the floor, they did not accuse him of any of the crimes that I was led to think he had committed; instead, they quarreled with him, about religion, and about a certain Jesus, who has died, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. I did not know what to do about this case, so I asked Paul if he wanted to go to Jerusalem, to be tried there. But Paul appealed, to be judged by the emperor. So I ordered, that he be kept in custody until I send him to Caesar.”
Gospel: Jn 21:15-19
After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” And Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Look after my sheep.” And a third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus then said, “Feed my sheep!
Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.” Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And he added, “Follow me!”
Do you love me more than these do?
While Jesus was being tried by the Sanhedrin, Peter thrice denied knowing him. At Lake Tiberias, the Risen Lord asked Peter thrice if he loved him, not because Jesus needed an apology from Peter but because Peter needed to receive God’s mercy.
Jesus’ last experience of his disciples upon his arrest at the Garden of Gethsemane was desertion. And yet the Risen Lord, upon appearing to them, called them friends, did not demand an accounting for their betrayal and commissioned them to proclaim the Gospel. For Peter, the encounter with the Risen Lord was a profound experience of God’s mercy.
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