6/29/08

Word for the Week of June 29


Image: Dan and Toni (The shore of the Sea of Tiberias here the risen Christ had breakfast with this disciples and asked Simon, son of John, "Do you love me?" How would you like to walk this shore with Jesus?)

The Word for the Week comes from the gospel of the Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, John 21:15-19.

As you will see in the sidebar, I've highlighted the dialogue between Jesus and Peter. How painful must it have been for Peter for this three-fold reminder of his denial of Christ on the night before he died... And yet, there is a healing here as each of Peter's denials is matched by a contrite affirmation of his love for Jesus.

Note how each of Jesus' questions is addressed to Peter by name: Simon, son of John... What if Christ were to address the same questions to each of us, by name... Imagine that scene. It's after the Resurrection and Jesus has appeared to you and your friends on the beach... After having breakfast together, Jesus invites you to walk down to the water's edge with him... It's quiet, except for the waves lapping your toes... you and Jesus look out over the water... Jesus speaks softly...

(Your name), do you love me more than these?

(Your name), do you love me?

(Your name), do you love me?

(Your name), Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep...

What happens next? Do you and Jesus embrace? Do you have things to tell him? Do you have questions to ask him? Do you walk down the beach together? Do you return to the others? Who are the lambs and sheep in your life whom Jesus asks you to tend and feed? What nourishment have you to give them? How will you care for them?

Prayerfully play the scene out in your mind...


-ConcordPastor

4 comments:

elizabeth said...

I begin to cry.
I tell Jesus that I do love him very, very much, but I am so afraid.
I am trying--
or, I think I am, but nothing is working- really working.
I am so confused and so sad and I don't know what I am supposed to do- about anything.
I pray for help and for strength, and I believe I have faith and hope- and I pray that I will have love, too, to give and receive.

Jesus listens to me. But he does not say anything.

mary said...

Elizabeth: Maybe Jesus DOES speak to us through others, without even the others knowing. Sometimes someone randomly says, "how are you doing"?, and you might think why do you care? But maybe it's Jesus asking via this person!

I'm afraid too, Elizabeth. My life is pretty much screwed up. I'm in a big mess and don't know how to pull out.

But, like you, I believe in hope. I hope and believe that someone is out there listening. What a comfort it is to "imagine" to be with Jesus on the beach. I imagined, just what concordpastor wrote, but not with Jesus and I looking towards the ocean, but looking into each other's eyes. That's even harder. The eyes, as they say, are the windows of our souls. When I imagine that ... I too, cry.

You are in my prayers, Elizabeth.

Anonymous said...

How I identify with both and how I needed to hear both. Maybe God spoke to me through you! With gratitude,

Anonymous said...

I may have commented on this before. I just don't remember. Many years ago, at a parish I belonged to, a week-long mission was given by a Franciscan from California. One of the sessions was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had. We first were asked to close our eyes and imagine ourselves as children encountering Jesus. In that reverie I placed myself on the lap of Jesus. I had a lovely conversation with him. Next, we were asked to close our eyes and envision ourselves meeting Jesus as adults. I was walking down the beach all alone. I looked up and saw someone coming towards me. As he got closer, I realized it was Jesus. When we were standing together, he asked me what was troubling me. I proceeded to bare my soul to him. Tears were flowing down my cheeks. He comforted me and forgave me. I have never again experienced that feeling of actually really being with Jesus. It was quite wonderful.