29 May Fri - 7th Week of Easter

5/28/2020 4:35:25 PM
Acts 25:13-21 / Ps. 103(`102):1-2,11-12,19-20 / Jn. 21:15-19 (Ps Wk III)


"Do you love me more than these?" Jesus' question to Peter is highly ambiguous, for the word "these" in the original Greek could refer either to "these things" or to "these men".

If it refers to "these men", there are two possible interpretations: "Do you love me more than the other apostles do?" [cf. Peter's boast at the Last Supper: "Though all lose faith in you, I will never lose faith" (Mt:26: 30-35).

But it is not likely that Jesus would thus "rub salt into Peter's wound" The second possible interpretation is: "Do you love me more than you love these other apostles?" But again, it is highly unlikely that Jesus would ask such a comparative question. Therefore it is most likely that 'these' refers to "these things", that is Peter's boat and fishing nets, and the work and lifestyle associated with them, including his companionship with the other apostles and the miraculous catch of fish.

The Synoptic Gospels record that, when Jesus called his first four disciples, they left everything to follow him, but in this story, after the resurrection, Peter still has his boat! Perhaps the first calling was a kind of initial commitment. In contrast, Jesus is now calling Peter (and implicitly the others), to a final and permanent commitment, one which will find its fulfilment in a martyr's death.

Lord Jesus, grant us the grace that "the other things" of life will never hinder us from loving and serving You.


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