Collect for the Week
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to suffer death upon a cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
delivered us from the power of the enemy:
grant us so to die to sin
that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his resurrection;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen APBA p.556
GOSPEL for the Day: PETER AND PAUL, APOSTLES AND MARTYRS : John 21: 15-22
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus 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.” 16 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.” 17 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. 18 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.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”
20 Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them; he was the one who had reclined next to Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” 21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Rev’d. David
In the Gospel passage before us today, John records his fourth account of the appearances of Jesus after His resurrection. Just as Jesus’ third appearance centred on a turning point in the life of Thomas (John 20:28), this one centres on Peter, and the turning point that prepared him to become the great Apostle and first leader of the early Church.
As we reflect on the Bible’s account of Peter’s life, there are a number of high points, but today we are reminded of the low point when he disowned Jesus three times, as He was questioned by the High Priest Caiaphas after His arrest. Luke records that after denying three times that he even knew Jesus, at that moment Jesus turned and looked at Peter, and Peter left weeping bitterly (Luke 22:54-62 NLT).
Now, possibly about two weeks later, after His resurrection, Jesus appeared to the seven disciples, preparing breakfast for them on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. For Peter, this changed everything. I can imagine Peter sitting on the opposite side of the fire that cooked the fish, and looking at Jesus, wondering if He would say anything about his denials, and should he ask forgiveness. It was sometime after breakfast that Jesus spoke directly to Peter asking him three times “Do you love me more than these”. What were the “these”? Most likely the fishing nets and equipment, that is to say, “are you going back to your past, or will your love for me compel you to only, always, follow me?” The three denials needed three affirmations of love. And each time Peter affirmed his love, Jesus told him that meant only one thing, he must express his words “You know that I love you”, in a lifetime of sharing that love with others.
Yes, this was a turning point in Peter’s life, and he never turned back.
No doubt this experience was part of the inspiration for his words in 1 Peter 2:9 “God has brought you out of darkness into His marvellous light. Now you must tell about all the wonderful things that He has done” (CEV).
Does this turning point in Peter’s life speak to us today? It does to me. I hear the same question, “Do you love me more than these?” It’s a question for us all. As I thought about this challenge, I recalled the words of the great hymn: “I’ll shout it from the mountaintop, I want my world to know; the Lord of love has come to me, I want to pass it on” (from “It only takes a spark” by Kurt Kaiser MP348)
Final Prayer : APBA p509 “Third Sunday of Easter”
Christ our friend,
you ask for our love in spite of our betrayal:
give us courage to embrace forgiveness,
to know you again,
and to trust ourselves in you. Amen.