Bible Text: “Jesus said, Peter, do you love me more than these? Peter replied: yes Lord, you know that I love you”. John 21. 15-19
This particular incident happened few days after the resurrection of Jesus. The scene seemed almost the same as when Peter met Jesus the very first time. It is the same place which is by the sea of Tiberias; same situation which was a night of scarcity of fish and frustration; a moment when Jesus did the very first miracle in the life Peter together with his fellow apostles. Peter has no face to show Jesus after the betrayal that he had done against Jesus. Peter thought, he had already lost his credibility to Jesus that is why he decided to go home and resumed his work as a fisherman. He was happy to know about the resurrection of his master but he is not so excited to tell about until this encounter with Him wherein he was given a chance to redeem what had he lost which is commitment and loyalty to Jesus.
I love this bible passage because it is my motto when I was ordained as a priest 20 almost years ago. It struck me so much because it tells both priestly and Christian life is all about. First, nobody is worthy of God’s love. Mountainous amount of good qualities cannot compensate for the love of God. Nobody can say that we are worthy of God’s love because we are good and righteous. It is definitely God’s greatest gift to each one of us regardless of level of our integrity. He just loves to love us, nothing more and nothing less. He is God therefore He is Love. Being the author love, He cannot deny loving everybody. However, the love of God requires mutuality. If we want to experience the beauty of God’s love we have to respond to it. Apparently, this is the very reason why Jesus had asked Peter how much he loved Him. When we respond to His love it means we must be ready to lose everything. This is the very meaning when Jesus emphasized “do you love me more than these”. Jesus is reminding him that loving the Lord is not focused on the physical miracle that God can do to us; it is rather of spiritual and moral miracles that we can receive when we decided to follow Jesus. Loving Jesus is not all about expecting that we will be walking in smooth ways and heavy receiving outpouring of material blessings in life. It is the other way around, it requires more sacrifice, total surrender and determination as Jesus said, and you will go to where you would rather not go. However, the sacrifice that we will wage is nothing compared to the life, joy, peace and fulfillment at stake when we are willing to accept the challenge of Jesus.