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Gospel - May 22, 2015


Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
JN 21:15-19


After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” 

He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 

A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 

He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” 

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 

He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God. After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Reflection - May 22, 2015


Stacey Noem ’98, ’99, ’05 M.Div.
Director of Human and Spiritual Formation
Masters of Divinity Program


I can’t read today’s Gospel without remembering that it was read at the funeral Mass for Pope St. John Paul II. His life exemplified this passage so well.

This text is foundational not only for the highest office in our Church, but also for the commission that each of us carries out as disciples of Jesus—each in our own way, whether we are theologians in the academy, ministers in a parish, or faithful in the pews. Peter is not the only one commissioned in this passage. Each of us is commissioned as partners in Jesus’ mission to realize the kingdom of God.

Knowing how to function as a partner in this mission is not always clear. It requires discernment. Today’s Gospel highlights the nature of Christian discernment. It indicates how we begin to respond to questions like: “Where am I called to go?” and “What am I called to do?”

Jesus explains that there are different stages to life. For a while, or at times, we may be called to lead, to make decisions—to fasten our own belts and go where we wish. With age, we may learn the wisdom in following, in listening to those who have gone before us—stretching out our arms in a posture of surrender and allowing others to take us where we aren’t sure we would like to go.

It is difficult to surrender. How do we know when to leave everything in God’s hands? And how do we know when to intervene and try to shape the reality before us? I think the answer can be found in today’s dialogue with Jesus. We enter into conversation with Jesus through prayer. When we are open and honest in our prayer, he replies with words of direction and guidance.

And whatever direction Jesus gives, the essence of his call will always be the same: “Follow me.”

Prayer - May 22, 2015


Dennis Strach II, C.S.C.   
Holy Cross Seminarian


Christ the Good Shepherd, like the first disciples, you call each of us by name to follow in your footsteps. As fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters you give us the grace to do your will each and every day of our lives. We have heard your voice, and have seen the miraculous works performed in your name. In this Easter season, we are reminded of your triumph over death, and we are strengthened in our hope of the resurrection. Grant us the courage to remain steadfast in our faith, that we may follow wherever you lead us, and be shepherds for those who are lost. In love of you, we pray.  Amen. 

Gospel citations come from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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