WHEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH COMES, HE WILL TEACH YOU ALL TRUTH
(Friday, June 07, 2019)
The Lord in today’s Gospel passage called St. Peter, His Apostle, right after He had appeared to His disciples at the lake of Galilee. And on that occasion, the Lord called St. Peter to renew the commitment and the love which he had for Him. In order to appreciate and understand clearly what the significance of all these are, we need to understand the context and symbolism made by the threefold questions of the Lord to St. Peter. Earlier on, St. Peter has denied the Lord three times at the moment after He was arrested.
Peter was very remorseful having done that, abandoning his Lord and Master even at the moment of His greatest agony. But deep in his heart, St. Peter still had great love and dedication to the Lord, and today, the Lord showed St. Peter how He knew of the love and commitment which he had for Him, and showed His Apostle how He had not only forgiven him, but in fact, entrusted to him the whole flock of His sheep, the entire Church and the faithful who has now been placed under the guidance and protection of the Apostles under the leadership of St. Peter. St. Peter has been called to be the shepherd of the flock in the image of the one and true Good Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Himself.
And he carried out that duty and responsibility with all commitment and dedication, giving himself to the Lord completely, spending years after years to spread the Good News to the people in many places, putting his best efforts to carry out the mission which God has entrusted to him and the other Apostles. In the first reading today, we heard the fate of St. Paul who was about to suffer a final suffering for the Lord’s sake. He who placed an appeal before the governor of Judea to be tried for his supposed crimes as accused on him by the Jewish authorities by the Roman Emperor himself, as he held up his right as a Roman citizen to be tried by the Emperor. St. Paul had also dedicated himself a lot to the service of God, spending years after years preaching the word of God among the people, and facing dangers and challenges along the way throughout his ministry.
Despite all of those difficulties he had to endure, St. Paul endured them nonetheless because of his great faith and love for God which allowed him to persevere through all those persecutions and sufferings. In our own case, when we tell God that we love Him, how deep does that go? Is it more of a service of words, or is it a total and all-consuming love? Is your love of God something that you mean to the fullest extent? Or is it something that needs work? Certainly, we all need to work on our love, and that is why the passage of the gospel and Christ's three questions to St. Peter should be so significant to us.
We should hear Jesus asking us this question three times also. We should realize that He is not satisfied with a simple, “Lord, I love You.” He wants to hear it again, and again. He asks us this because He knows we need to express this love in the deepest way. “Lord, You know everything, You know that I love You!” This must be our ultimate answer. It is when we love God that we would be able to do all things like St. Paul in order to make Him known and preach Him to all people by our words, actions and lives. Through the examples shown by these two Apostles, all of us are also called to dedicate ourselves to the Lord in the same manner as those who have given their all for the sake of the Lord.
Let Us Pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to love you with all my heart and may I show it in my deeds. Amen.