- Category: wisemanop
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- Written by Fr. Wiseman Op
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"The questions are about love; and Jesus asks, ‘Do you love Me more than these?’ this was a suitable question, for Peter had previously fallen… and it was not appropriate that he be preferred to the others until his sin was forgiven – which was only brought about by charity: ‘Love covers a multitude of sins’ (1 Pt 4:8); ‘Love covers all offenses’ (Prov 10:12). So it was fitting that his charity be made known by this questioning, not indeed to him who looks into the depths of our hearts, but to others… Now we read that ‘perfect love casts out fear’ (1 Jn 4:18). Thus it was that when our Lord was about to die, Peter was afraid and denied Him; but the risen Lord restored love and banished his fear. So Peter, who before had denied Christ because he was afraid to die, now, after our Lord has arisen, fearer nothing. Why should he be afraid, since he now realized that death had died?” (2617)
“This questioning was also appropriate for the office, since many who assume a pastoral office use it as self-lovers: ‘In the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self’ (1 Tim 3:1). One who does not love the Lord is not a fit prelate. A fit prelate is one who does not seek his own advantage, but that o Christ’s; and he does this through love: ‘The love of Christ controls us’ (2 Cor 5:14). Love also becomes this office because it benefits others: for it is due to the abundance of love that those who love Jesus will at times give up the quiet of their own contemplation to help their neighbor… Thus a prelate should be questioned about his love” (2618).
“Christ says three times, ‘Feed my lambs,’ because Peter ought to feed them three ways. First, they are to be fed by being taught: ‘And I will give you shepherds after My own hear, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding’ (Jer 3:15). Secondly, they are to be fed by example: ‘Set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity’ (1 Tim 4:12)… Thirdly, they are to be fed by being offered temporal help: ‘Woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been feeding themselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?’” (Ez 34:2).
St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Gospel of St. John, Part II, trans. James A. Weisheipl, O.P. and Fabian Larcher, O.P. (Petersham, MA: St. Bede Publications), 640-641, 643.
“Just so Peter did, and the other disciples, who after the sin of denial which he made to My Son, he wept. His weeping was still imperfect and was imperfect until forty days, that is after the Ascension. After My Truth returned to Me according to His humanity, Peter and the others hid themselves in the house, waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit, just as My Truth had promised them. They stayed enclosed through fear, because the soul always, until it comes to true love, fears. But persevering in the vigil, in humble and continuous prayer, until they had the abundance of the Holy Spirit. Then having lost the fear, they followed and preached Christ crucified.”
St. Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue, 63.