29 — The Questioning of St. Peter.
The Questioning of St. Peter.
Read St. John xxi. 15-17.
 When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.
 He saith to him again: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.  He said to him the third time: Simon, son of John, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved, because he had said to him the third time: Lovest thou me? And he said to him: Lord, thou knowest all things: thou knowest that I love thee. He said to him: Feed my sheep*.
1. After they had dined, Our Lord addressed to St. Peter a question which was to introduce the conferring upon him of that power which is the central doctrine ot Catholic Christianity. He asked him, “Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these?” This was the necessary question to put to one who was to be the Vicar of Christ. As his station was to be the most lofty in the Christian Church, so Christ expected of him a love beyond all the rest. How important it is for us to remember that every sort of authority requires a higher personal standard on our part. Priests, parents, masters, employers, each in his or her degree, ought to love more, in order to be fit for the position in which God has placed them.
2. Peter did not venture to say that he loved more than the rest, but modestly answered, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” These words came from the bottom of his heart; he had always loved Our Lord fondly and faithfully; even in his denial he still loved Him in his heart. I, too, who have so often fallen, yet will say to Jesus, over and over again, with repeated earnestness, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” Especially, as I kneel before the Blessed Sacrament, I will address Him, corporeally present there, and protest constantly, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.”
3. In return for his love, and as the best means of proving it, Jesus bids His apostle, “Feed My lambs,” or, more literally, “Be shepherd of My lambs.” This is the greatest privilege Christ can bestow — to intrust to any, in whatever capacity, the care of the souls of others. How have I fulfilled His trust? Have I fed His lambs with tender care?
* – Challoner note to verse  Feed my sheep: Our Lord had promised the spiritual supremacy to St. Peter; St. Matt. 16. 19; and here he fulfills that promise, by charging him with the superintendency of all his sheep, without exception; and consequently of his whole flock, that is, of his own church.
This article, 29 — The Questioning of St. Peter. is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
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