Thought for the Day – 5 May – Third Sunday of Easter, Year C, Gospel: John 21:1–19
“…Lead you where you do not wish to go.”…John 21:18
The Gospel of the appearance of the Lord at the Sea of Tiberias, ends with the installation of Peter in his pastoral office. Everything that precedes this, is preparatory -unsuccessful fishing, then the miraculous catch, after which Peter swims to the Lord and stands beside Him on the bedrock of eternity, while the rest of the Church brings her harvest to the two of them, at which point, Peter, himself, hauls the entire netfull ashore. Finally, the crucial question to Peter – “Do you love me more than these?” You, the Denier, do you love me more than the Beloved Disciple there, who stood under the Cross? Made conscious of his guilt by means of the threefold question, Peter answers with a repentant first ‘Yes’ (since he can, by no means say No), undoubtedly, gaining the strength to do so from John (in the communion of saints).
Without this confession of greater love, the Good Shepherd, who gives His life for his sheep, could not entrust His flock to Peter’s pasturing.
For the office Jesus has received from the Father, is identical, with His own loving sacrifice of His life, for His sheep.
Ever since Jesus bestowed this office on Peter, this unity of love and office has been unconditionally required. This unity is then sealed by the prediction of Peter’s crucifixion, the gift of completed discipleship. The cross will be bound up with the papacy, from this point onward, even when it is given to unworthy popes.
The more seriously a pope takes his office, the heavier the weight of the cross, on his shoulder becomes.
Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar
Light of the World
Pray for Pope Francis, amen!
Prayer for Pope Francis
O God, shepherd and ruler of all the faithful,
look favourably on Your servant Francis,
whom You have set
at the head of Your Church as her shepherd;
Grant, we pray, that by word and example
he may be of service to those over whom he presides
so that, together with the flock entrusted to his care,
he may come to everlasting life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the
unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.