My Franciscan Fraternity has its monthly meeting today. I so look forward to them, and to the fellowship with each gathering. If anyone is interested in what the Secular Franciscans are; or their role in the Roman Catholic Church, just contact me and ask.
Today in Catholic History:
† 1506 – The cornerstone of the current St. Peter’s Basilica is laid.
† 1909 – Joan of Arc is beatified in Rome.
† 2007 – The US Supreme Court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in a 5-4 decision.
† In the Roman Catholic Church: Saint Apollonius (d. 185/6), Saint Galdino (d. 1176), Saint Perfecto (d. 850), Saint Laserian, Saint Emma
Today’s reflection is about Jesus forgiving Peter for his denial of Him.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
“You will be consoled according to the greatness of your sorrow and affliction; the greater the suffering, the greater will be the reward” ~ St. Mary Magdalen de’Pazzi†
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” (Jesus) said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” (NAB John 21:15-19)
This section constitutes Peter’s rehabilitation for his denials of Jesus, and emphasizes his role in the church. The threefold confession of Peter is meant to counteract his earlier threefold denial (see John 18:17, 25, 27). The First Vatican Council cited these verses in defining that Jesus after his resurrection gave Peter the jurisdiction of supreme shepherd and ruler over the whole flock. Peter “ate crow,” and not only has been forgiven and redeemed by Jesus. His faith has been cemented into the strong “Rock” needed to lead the Church of Christ on earth.
When Jesus said “more than these,” did He mean “more than you love fishing, or some other item or activity? Or did Jesus mean “Do you love me more than you love them: the other disciples?” I cannot be certain, but I think Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Jesus “more than these disciples, or any other does.” This last option; the one I think is the correct understanding, emphasizes Peter’s love for Jesus as being so great, that Peter’s love is far stronger than any others love towards Jesus could ever be. As the Vicar of Christ on earth, Peter’s love had to be of such a supernatural strength, so that he could continue with Jesus’ mission: to bring all to the beauty and magnificent love of Jesus.
Jesus uses a parable as a figurative reference to the crucifixion of Peter. In essence, He says, “YO, LISTEN UP PETER!! You used to take care of yourself, and only had to worry about you, and no others. You could do as you wish, and come and go without concern. Now, you are responsible as I was, for the truth of the “word.” You must take the path that I have taken! Your life is no longer yours, but our heavenly Father’s to do with as He wishes. Your happiness is reserved for heaven, but not for this earth. Prepare yourself for the role you have inherited from God.”
“Lord Jesus, I love you, I love you, I love you. Do with me as You wish always. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. Apollonius the Apologist
Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered one of the most priceless documents of the early Church. Apollonius was a Roman senator who was denounced as a Christian by one of his slaves. The Praetorian Prefect, Sextus Tigidius Perennis, arrested him, also putting the slave to death as an informer. Perennis demanded that Apollonius denounce the faith, and when he refused, the case was remanded to the Roman senate. There a debate took place between Perennis and Apollonius that clearly outlines the beauty and the value of Christianity. Despite his eloquent defense, Apollonius was condemned and beheaded
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #18:
Moreover they should respect all creatures, animate and inanimate, which “bear the imprint of the Most High,” and they should strive to move from the temptation of exploiting creation to the Franciscan concept of universal kinship.