"A third time Jesus asked him, 'Simon, son of John, do you love Me?' " —John 21:17
As we draw near to the conclusion of the Pentecost Novena and to the celebration of Pentecost in this year of the Great Jubilee, Jesus simply and repeatedly asks us: "Do you love Me?" We have come to Jesus. We pray. We go to Mass. Of course, we love Jesus. Why would He ask us again and again whether we love Him?
We can deceive ourselves about love. We can say the right words and do the right things, but still not be living in love. Jesus warned us: "None of those who cry out, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of God but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. When that day comes, many will plead with Me, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name? Have we not exorcised demons by its power? Did we not do many miracles in Your name as well?' Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. Out of My sight, you evildoers!' " (Mt 7:21-23)
We can lose our love. Jesus said to the church of Ephesus: "I hold this against you, though: you have turned aside from your early love" (Rv 2:4). Probably there are people in hell who loved Jesus but lost their love.
How can we truly love? How can we never stop loving? How can we love ever more deeply? "The love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us" (Rm 5:5). Come, Holy Spirit of Pentecost! Come, Holy Spirit of love!
Prayer: Father, give me such love this Pentecost that I will bring repeated Pentecosts to those around me.
Promise: "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits." —Ps 103:1-2
Praise: St. Ephrem so loved God he went out into the desert to seek Him in solitude, and so loved the lost he came back into the city to bring God's love to the masses.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999