At the Last Supper, Peter was full of bravado, saying that he was ready to lay down his life for Jesus. But before sunrise, a fearful Peter had denied three times that he even knew Jesus, just as the Lord foretold. In today’s Gospel, Peter meets the risen Christ. How is Peter feeling? Is he afraid of meeting anger or rejection from his friend? It must have been a difficult moment for him.
Peter denied Jesus three times. Now, Jesus asks him three times, ‘Do you love me?’ and Peter replies three times that he does. In response, the Lord calls Peter to look after his lambs and sheep – to care for the disciples after Jesus has returned to God the Father.
This difficult moment became a moment of conversion for Peter. He gave the rest of his life to leading the Church. In today’s First Reading, we see him fearlessly witnessing for Christ in Jerusalem. In the end, Peter did give his life for Jesus. According to tradition, he was martyred for the faith in Rome, crucified upside down on the site where St Peter’s basilica stands today.
Today, the Lord asks us the same question he asked Peter; ‘Do you love me?’ We show our love by feeding the lambs and sheep; by caring for one another, as Peter learned to do.