Peter was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven (Mt 16:19). He saw the risen Jesus on Easter morning. He was even warned several times to be vigilant and faithful in his mission because Jesus, His Master, might take His time coming back (Lk 12:45; Mt 25:5, 19). Though Peter was given much (Lk 12:48), he couldn't wait a few weeks for Jesus. So shortly after Jesus' resurrection, Peter went back to work in his commercial fishing boat (Jn 21:3).
In today's Gospel, Jesus had warned Peter that the servant "who knew his master's wishes but did not prepare to fulfill them" would get a severe beating (Lk 12:47). However, when Jesus returned to check on his servant Peter, He didn't give Peter that beating. Instead, Jesus gave Peter a miraculous catch of fish and cooked breakfast for him (Jn 21:6, 13). This time, Jesus had no teaching or parable for Peter. He simply asked Peter: "Do you love Me?" (Jn 21:15)
Waiting a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years for Jesus to come along won't be a problem if we love Him enough. If we love Jesus, we will be immersed in dispensing the word of God to His lambs in our midst (Jn 21:15; Lk 12:42). If we love Jesus, we won't misuse the gifts and privileges God has given us on our own pleasures (cf Lk 12:45ff). Vigilance and waiting come naturally to those in love (Sg 3:1-3; 5:2). "The love of Christ impels us" (2 Cor 5:14) to spread the word of God. Jesus asks each of us: "Do you love Me?"
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2010 through November 30, 2010.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010.