“Feed my lambs, feed my sheep.”
John 21: 1-19
Today’s gospel reminds us that God does not stop searching for us or loving us because we have denied or sinned against Him, but He takes the initiative of restoring the broken friendship with Him by offering us another opportunity to make amends, to love and to enter into a deeper and more committed friendship with Him.
There is a dialogue between Jesus and Simon where Simon is asked three times whether he loves Jesus, and he answers that he does, as if in reparation for his triple denial of Jesus. The two metaphors used in the story, namely fishing and shepherding, are the duties of the Church in her missionary work.
Peter, as a forgiven sinner, is chosen for the quality of his love to serve as a leader in a community of brothers and sisters. As his primary mission, Peter is given the care of the vulnerable lambs and sheep, and he is told that fidelity to this mission will lead him to martyrdom.
(Fr. Clem C. Aladi)