May 22, 2015

May 22

May 22, 2015:  Friday, Seventh Week of 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, and his kingdom rules over all. (psalm)
  • White and red in shirt:  white for Easter season, red for "by what kind of death [Peter] would glorify God." (gospel)

Pope Francis homily
Jesus gave Peter three kinds of looks:  choosing, forgiveness, and mission:
Andrew told his brother Peter they'd found the Messiah and took him to see Jesus, who looked and said, “You're Simon.  You'll be called Peter (Cephas).”  Peter was enthusiastic after that first look from Jesus and wanted to follow him.
The night before Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter disowned him three times, and when Jesus looked straight at him, Peter wept bitterly.  His enthusiasm about following Jesus had turned to grief because he'd sinned, denying he knew him.  Jesus' look changed Peter’s heart, more than before.  The first change was being given a new name and calling; the second was a gaze that changed his heart, converting it to love.
The third look Jesus gave Peter was one of mission when he asked for confirmation Peter loved him and urged him to feed his sheep.  Peter was hurt when Jesus asked him a third time, "Do you love me?" and he said, "Lord, You know I love you."  Jesus replied, "Feed my sheep."  The first, a look of choosing, with the enthusiasm of following Jesus; the second, a look of repentance after he'd disowned Jesus; this third, one of mission.
What look is Jesus giving me today?  A call?  A pardon?  A mission?  Jesus is looking at each of us with love.  He asks, forgives, and calls.  "Lord, fix your gaze on me and tell me what I must do:  how I must repent, what courage I need to go on the path You created."
  • 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.”
  • 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.
    • Creighton:  Peter who denied Jesus three times around a charcoal fire now affirms his love for Jesus around another one, and Jesus tells him to feed and tend his sheep and tells him he'll die as Jesus did and glorify God.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Ready or not?"  "Am I ready to receive the Holy Spirit?  Am I ready to receive and to help others receive new Pentecosts?"  If we see signs of unselfishness in our lives, if we're more concerned about feeding the sheep than feeding ourselves, and if we're willing to go where others lead us, we probably are ready.  If we die to ourselves, we can live in the Spirit.
    • Passionist:  After betraying Jesus three times, Peter returned to fishing; today he surrenders, professing his love, and is forgiven and rehabilitated.  The Holy Spirit moved in Paul's and Peter's lives to bring about unexpected, wondrous, and lasting fruit.  When the Lord stirs things up in my life, am I open to the Spirit?
    •  Jesus spoke about God's unquenchable, unconditional, unmerited, unlimited, unchanging, unbreakable love, freely given, freely received.  God's love heals, transforms, and frees us; it draws us to him and compels us to give him our best:  gifts, time, resources, allegiance, life.  Love is the personal choice of giving myself to others for their sake.  Fear, sin, pride, indifference, disbelief, or loss of hope and trust in God's promises and mercy can quench our love....
    "Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new.  Late have I loved you!  You shone your Self upon 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! and I burn to live within your peace." (St. AugustineConfessions 10:27).
    • Universalis:  St. Rita of Cascia, married at 12, endured husband's insults and infidelities, helped convert him, reconciled family with his murderers, entered convent, remained all her life.  Honored as patroness of impossible or lost causes.

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