Friday, June 2, 2017

Acts 25:13-21, Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20, John 21:15-19


The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you. Jn 14:26

Acts 25:13-21, Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20, John 21:15-19

Acts 25:13-21

Dear Love,

We see from this account of Paul and the authorities that God has plans that are very often not what we desire. Perhaps Paul would have been set free by the Romans because of the nature of the charge brought against him. Or it is also possible that the Jews would have colluded with the authorities to kill him in Jerusalem but God willed for him to go to Rome. It was a place that was hostile to Christians and yet he was required to preach and teach the Good News of our salvation to the people there Jews as well as Gentiles.

And so it was. If we are open to what You desire for us we experience great  peace for to do Your will in all things must be our food and drink just as it was Yours in doing the Father's will.

Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20

Dear Love,

You are enthroned in heaven at the Father's right hand. To You is given a place of honor and all glory and majesty is Yours. How privileged I am Soul of my soul to know You, love You, be delivered, saved, and ransomed by You and to be given a place with You to share in Your inheritance.

Keep me aware always of Your great kindness to me. I am not worthy and yet You think of me, You care for me, You ensure that I have all that I need. You hear and answer Me. You put Your angles in charge of me. You who are seated in the highest heavens above all kingdoms, rule and authority are always mindful of me Your poor, little nothing. I am a sinner but You cast my sins behind Your back and do not deal with me as I deserve.

Thank You dear Love, Bridegroom of my soul, for Your infinite kindness. Grant that I may always give You the principal place in my affections and in my life all the days that I may live.

John 21:15-19

Dear Love,

This dramatic even between You and Peter took place after Your Resurrection. The disciples, despite seeing You several times were still not quite convinced. There was just a hint of skepticism which was removed at the end of the encounter and yet it returned. Now, after taking care of their physical hunger, for You understand our human needs, You now turn to Peter and put the triple question before him.

Peter was not the brightest bulb in the group but he had the greatest heart - a heart that loved You and You knew it. It does not matter how clever I am, how much I know, what is needed is this and this alone, how much do I love? 

You knew that Peter loved You more than the rest, but Peter didn't. He was still wracked with guilt and humiliation for having denied You when You predicted that he would and he swore before the rest that he wouldn't. But he did. In his eyes he had failed abysmally and he could barely lift his gaze to meet Yours so great was his shame.  But You my Lord, who know all things knew the work that You would entrust to Peter and like the prodigal son, You wanted to take away his shame and given him back his place of prominence among the disciples.

The first time You said, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" He responded as we generally do when someone asks us if we love them, it is a response that "Yes, I do." Feed my lambs." Peter would not have quite understood what You were asking of him. You asked him a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter must have squirmed a little. All eyes were on him and he was probably uncomfortable with all the attention. This bold, brash, unlettered fisherman, who loved You passionately but had failed You miserably. His quiet response was, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Once again You make known to him his mission, "Tend my sheep.' He didn't quite get it and so You said a third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Poor, poor, Peter. I am sure he wished the ground would open and swallow him. He had betrayed His Master three times on that terrible night that would never be erased from his memory and now for the third time His beloved Master was asking him once again if he loved Him. Hot tears of sorrow filled his eyes and ran down his cheeks as he quietly but very convincingly said once again,"Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." And once again You make known, before all the disciples, the place of primacy that belonged to Peter, when You said, "Feed my sheep."

Peter was faithful. He was weak but he relied on You for strength. He was humble. All the qualities that he possessed, his boldness, his brashness, You used powerfully. He was a natural leader among his peers and he led them and they knowing that You had placed him over them, gave way once he had spoken.

Two thousand years later we still listen to Peter for to him has been given charge to tend to You lambs and to feed Your sheep.

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