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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Gospel text (Jn 21,15-19): After Jesus and his disciples had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, «Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?». He answered, «Yes, Lord, you know that I love you». And Jesus said, «Feed my lambs» (…). 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 (…)». And He added, «Follow me».

Charity: to love God in our brothers

+ Fr. Antoni ORIOL i Tataret (Vic, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, in this passage of the Gospel of Saint John, it is to be highlighted the iteration of the verb "to say": up to ten times, as well as its contrast with the only time when Jesus crowns His words with the imperative: Follow me! But even more outstanding is the relationship between the verbs "to love" and "to graze".

The judgment criterion that values the degree of love Peter felt for Jesus is the level of love of the Apostle for the Lord’s flock: if you love me, graze my flock! Love incarnate in facts; once again, the vertical ascending to the heart of God sinks its roots in the horizontal land of love for humankind.

—O Lord, we realize You have hidden your most intimate presence with the neediest of our brothers. So intense is your profound love! Give us the joy of experiencing You in them by becoming partakers of your endearing and close solidarity!