June 2, 2017

June 2

June 2, 2017:  Friday, 7th week, Easter

  • 'Angel' pin:  "Bless the Lord, all you his angels" (gospel)
  • 'Hearts' suspenders:  “Simon, do you love me?” (gospel)
  • 'Sheep,' 'lamb' tie bars:  "Tend my sheep"; “Feed my lambs.” (gospel)
  • 'Scales of justice' tie:  It's not Roman practice to hand over the accused before they have an opportunity to defend themselves. (1st reading)
  • 'Crown' tie bar:  The Lord has established his throne in heaven; his kingdom rules over all (psalm)
  • 'Hands' pin:  "When you grow old, you'll stretch out your hands, and someone else will lead you where you don't want to go" (gospel)
  • White and red in shirt:  White for Easter season, red for "by what kind of death [Peter] would glorify God" (gospel) and Holy Spirit novena
Listen

For gospel
In today's gospel the Risen Jesus converses with Peter on the shore where he'd first been called.  In the calm, serene dialogue between friends, Jesus entrusts his sheep to Peter, asking him three times if he loved him.  Jesus chose the most sinful apostle.  The others escaped, but Peter denied him.  Now Jesus asked him, "Do you love me?"  Jesus’ choice makes us think.  Shepherd with humility and love, like Jesus did; this is the mission Jesus gives to sinner Peter.  "If you're my friend, you must be a friend to these."  Right after the dialogue, Peter makes another mistake, tempted by curiosity to ask, "Where will this other disciple go?  What will he do?" 
The apostle courageous in denying is also capable of tears.  He also died on the cross, but he didn't boast that he died as his Lord did; rather, he asks to be crucified head down to be seen as a servant.  Hold your head high for the dignity God gives you, but lower your head, knowing you're a sinner and servant.
Read
  • Acts 25:13b-21  Festus referred Paul’s case to the king:  “The chief priests and elders demanded his condemnation.  They only had issues with him about their religion and about 'Jesus.'  I asked if he were willing to stand trial in Jerusalem, Paul appealed to the Emperor, and I ordered him held until I could send him.”
  • Ps 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab  "The Lord has established his throne in heaven."  Bless the Lord, and forget not his benefits:  His kindness is surpassing.  He put our transgressions far from us.  His kingdom rules over all.
  • Jn 21:15-19  Jesus / Simon Peter:  “Do you love me more than these?” / “Yes; you know I love you.” / “Feed my lambs.” / “Do you love me?” / “Yes; you know I love you.” / “Tend my sheep.” / “Do you love me?” / (distressed he asked a third time) “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.” / “Feed my sheep.  When you were younger, you used to go where you wanted; but when you grow old, someone else will lead you where you don't want to go.”  (He signified by what kind of death he'd glorify God.)  “Follow me.”
Reflect
    • Creighton:  "Go Forth":  Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome.  They left home to speak words of life to strangers.  Some were hostile; others listened and were moved.   Communities sprang up with leaders instructed to “feed my sheep.”  Authorities often mistrust travelers who arrive with new teachings.  The witness of others keeps people from fleeing in fear.  Jesus was buoyed by figures like John the Baptist.   Jesus’ followers shared stories that kept his memory strong.  In the call to “follow me,” Jesus promises to stay with us.  Jesus assures us, “the Spirit will teach you everything and remind you of all I told you.”  God asks, "Do you love me?"  Emboldened by love, go forth.
      "Lovest thou me?"/ Del Parson
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Spread thin to spread the gospel":   The goal of Acts is the spread of the gospel message.  Acts considers Rome "the ends of the earth." The last seven chapters record messy events that led Paul to Rome.  For the Gospel to reach Rome, Paul had to endure suffering; he spent two extra years in prison so the gospel could be heard by Roman Empire officials, but he rejoiced because his sufferings turned into a blessing for evangelization,  Peter was bound and held captive to build up the Church.  Jesus lived and died so the gospel could reach a lost world.  We servants of God are "taken captive by God to do his will," and God wants all people to be saved.  The messes in our lives may be ways God uses to spread his Word.
      Christ's charge to Peter/ Raphael
    • Passionist:  Today's 1st reading is about Paul’s denunciation to the Roman Procurator of Judea; the second is Jesus' 'interrogation' of Peter; both show what a disciple must endure to live the Gospel in an unaccommodating world.  First, Peter denied being associated with Jesus, even knowing him personally.  Those denials return to haunt him when Jesus takes him aside and asks him whether he loves him.  We may see this as a call to repentance, but first it's a sign of Jesus’ redemptive power at work.  The Peter who responds isn't the one in the courtyard fearing for his life but  a renewed, exuberant one who's felt the Risen Jesus' reconciling grace.  The sequence of events (denial, crucifixion, resurrection, apostles' experience of Risen Jesus' presence) tells us Jesus is taking the initiative to meet the Apostles, not imposing penance or a price for forgiveness; he just asks, “Do you love me?”  Whatever our faults or failures, Jesus just asks, “Do you love me?”
    Agnus Day
    In the 1st reading, Paul is confronted by accusations that don't fit into the Roman scheme of justice.  He's accused of religious crimes; but the accusers have brought him before the Roman Procurator, who refuses to be swayed by religious intrigues.  Paul invokes his right as a Roman Citizen to be tried in the Emperor’s court, then is held till he can be sent to Rome, a journey fraught with danger.  As Paul is a Pharisee to the Jews and citizen to the Romans, are citizens of two worlds; we witness to Christ in our daily lives. How do we witness to Christ in our duties as parents, citizens, neighbors, parishioners...?  "Do you love me?"  How will you answer today?
    • Greek words for love:  ἔρως (passionate, sensual eros), φιλία (philia, friendship, affection); ἀγάπη (selfless, sacrificial, unconditional agape)  In today's gospel, Jesus asked twice whether Peter agape-loved him, and Peter responded he philia-loved him; then he asked whether he philia-loved him, and he said yes.  Peter had professed his love before, then betrayed him; now he humbly offered philia (not agape) and Jesus accepted it.  Jesus encounters us where and how we are.
      SS. Marcellinus and Peter
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Do you love Jesus more than these?"  Jesus asked Peter, and asks us, Do you love me more than anything else that might be dear to you?  Jesus spoke about God's unquenchable love. God is love because he is the creator and source of all that is true love.  His love is unconditional, unmerited, unlimited, enduring, unwavering.  It's a gift, freely given, freely received.  It’s why God created us and why he wants us to be united with him.  Love is the choice to give oneself to another for their sake; love is oriented to the other's good.  God's love heals and transforms our lives and frees us from fear, selfishness, and greed; it draws us to God and compels us to give our best, our gifts, our time, our resources, our allegiance, our everything.  Jesus' questions to Peter must have caused great sorrow, but remorseful Peter professes his love and willingness to serve.  The Lord calls each of us to respond to his graciousness and mercy, loving him above all else; only our own pride and stubbornness can keep us from receiving his love.
    "Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new. Late have I loved you! ...You showed yourself to me to drive away my blindness.  You breathed your fragrance upon me and in astonishment I drew my breath; now I pant for you!  I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for you.  You touched me; I burn to live within your peace" (Augustine, Confessions 10:27).
    • Universalis:  SS. Marcellinus, priest and martyr, and Peter, martyr