06/29 Tuesday of Week XIII

“Tend my sheep.” “Feed my lambs.”

GOSPEL, John (21:15-19)

Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Saint John

 Jesus and Peter

 15 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.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the 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. 18 Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.” 19 (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.”

The Gospel of the Lord



 Today we celebrate the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul: Peter the fisherman of Galilee, chosen to be the head of the Twelve Apostles, the first representative of Jesus on earth.

St. Paul, the most ardent apostle of the Church, after having persecuted her, gives himself radically to the service of the Gospel, consolidates the Faith with his letters and opens the Church to the dimensions of the World.

Both endured for Christ’s sake all kinds of persecutions, were martyred in Rome during Nero’s persecution. They both “Watered” the same ground on which was “Sown” the Church of God with their blood and today they are considered our fathers in the faith.”

      In today’s Gospel, Jesus addresses Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” (v. 15). Peter answers, the same question three times, exactly the same number of times he denied the Lord, so this conversation with Jesus will remind him both of his fragility and of his infidelity. This act of redemption is to show him that only through the Lord can his love remain consistent and strong. “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” (v. 15). Jesus wants to entrust the Church to him, “Tend my sheep!” (v. 15).

If the apostolic service requires human qualities, these only acquire their true value in union with Jesus. Only love makes us capable of following the Lord to martyrdom, as transpired with Peter. Before the passion, he revealed himself capable of giving his life for Him and impelled by fear, he denied his Lord and Master three times. We can only love the Lord and give Him our lives because He loves us and gave His life for us.

Opening ourselves to the love of Christ, welcoming him, is the foundation of all generosity: “Here is His love: it was not we who loved God, but He who loved us… He loved us first…” (1 John 4:19).



Give us Peter’s faith and ardent love, and give us Paul’s courage so that, living in You and for You alone, we may witness the resurrection of your Son Jesus, and of your love, that surpasses all knowledge. Amen.