Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Perhaps the words of this gospel selection are too familiar.  A second or third reading read or even a fourth travel over John's thoughts can open a newer appreciation of the divine inspiration that lead this evangelist to write as he did about a breakfast with Jesus.

Peter.  What a New Testament character.  When his name is read or mentioned, what comes to mind:  his failures or his leadership?  If he had to be quizzed three times by Jesus -- "Do you love me?" -- doesn't it reveal an awareness of Peter's prior "performances"?  Yes, Peter had "baggage" as we say today.  There were moment in his Jesus-relationship history that demonstrated his lacking a full awareness of who Jesus was.

Were Peter in business -- a major player in a significant business or even in Church administration -- would the CEO or COO be willing to continue his employment or at least his position?  We know, however, that Jesus saw Peter's limitations but realized beneath the surface there was a qualified leader.

Whether an executive or an ordinary parent or single individual, there are people whose work or performance as an employee or volunteer, relative or friend can test a trust relationship.  Despite Peter's human weaknesses and his surprising failures, Jesus trusted his potential:  "Feed my flock....Follow me."  And Peter did precisely what Jesus entrusted to him -- the leadership of his Church.

It is also important to think about Peter's response to Jesus' trust.  He must have been aware of his failures, his disappointing actions and words.  From that very imperfection Peter labored until his martyrdom to serve his friend, his teacher, his shepherd.

So, what did these words of John mean to you today ... and to the way you conduct your relationship with those who might be your employees, your volunteer workers, your boss, your children, your partner ... yes, even your pet!  That third or fourth read can open up so much material for prayer and reflection.  Go for it!