Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture reminding us of the words of the Lord calling on us to serve Him and to follow Him as best as possible. The Lord in today’s Gospel passage called St. Peter, His Apostle, right after He had appeared to His disciples at the lake of Galilee. And on that occasion, the Lord called St.
Peter to renew the commitment and the love which he had for Him.
In order to appreciate and understand clearly what the significance of all these are, we need to understand the context and symbolism made by the threefold questions of the Lord to St. Peter. Earlier on, St. Peter has denied the Lord three times at the moment after He was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and put under arrest. And he was very remorseful having done that, abandoning his Lord and Master even at the moment of His greatest agony.
But deep in his heart, St. Peter still had great love and dedication to the Lord, and today, the Lord showed St. Peter how He knew of the love and commitment which St. Peter had for Him, and showed His Apostle how He had not only forgiven him, but in fact, entrusted to him the whole flock of His sheep, the entire Church and the faithful who has now been placed under the guidance and protection of the Apostles under the leadership of St. Peter.
St. Peter has been called to be the shepherd of the flock in the image of the one and true Good Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Himself. And he carried out that duty and responsibility with all commitment and dedication, giving himself to the Lord completely, spending years after years to spread the Good News to the people in many places, putting his best efforts to carry out the mission which God has entrusted to him and the other Apostles.
In the first reading today, we heard the fate of another Apostle who was about to suffer a final suffering for the Lord’s sake, that of St. Paul the Apostle, who placed an appeal before the governor of Judea to be tried for his supposed crimes as accused on him by the Jewish authorities by the Roman Emperor himself, as he held up his right as a Roman citizen to be tried by the Emperor.
St. Paul had also dedicated himself a lot to the service of God, spending years after years preaching the word of God among the people, and facing dangers and challenges along the way throughout his ministry. Despite all of those difficulties he had to endure, St. Paul endured them nonetheless because of his great faith and love for God which allowed him to persevere through all those persecutions and sufferings.
And we have to also understand and realise how St. Paul, like St. Peter, was also forgiven and called by God to be His shepherd for the flock He had entrusted to them. St. Paul was once a great enemy of the Church and the faithful, who hunted them all the Christians he could gather and arrest, and was a bitter enemy of the Lord, until the moment when the Lord appeared to him and St. Paul turned away from his sinful past.
Through the examples shown by these two Apostles, all of us are also called to dedicate ourselves to the Lord in the same manner as those who have given their all for the sake of the Lord. Are we able to dedicate ourselves in the same way as they have done with their lives? Let us all reflect on this and be more dedicated from now, to serve the Lord and to love Him wholeheartedly, becoming good and exemplary Christians in all things.
May the Lord bless us always and may He be our guide, so that in everything we say and do, we will always bring greater glory to God, and that we may be truly in love with Him, each and every days of our life. Amen.