Do You Love Me?

 

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Three times in the Gospel from yesterday’s Catholic Mass (John 21:1-19), Jesus asks Peter: “Do You Love Me?

Three times, each time erasing the three denials by Peter before the cock crowed, just weeks before.

As I heard this Gospel proclaimed last night, I heard Jesus in my heart as me the same question.

Do you love me?

Do you love me?

Do you love me?

With each question, I move deeper. Like Peter, I say “of course,” at first.

Jesus is not asking Peter or us to make us prove anything to Him. Rather, we are recognizing how deep our love is for Him.

Two-thousand years of Jesus asking us this question, all for the purpose to inspire us to dig deeper, and to capture the essence of who He is to us.

You see, once we recognize the depth of our love for God, and God’s love for all of us, we are transformed.

We, like St. Francis, begin to love as He loves.

It is this love that drove Francis into the arms of a leper.

It is this love that moved Dorothy Day to create homes for the poor.

It is this love that drove Blessed Frederic Ozanam to create communities to serve those on the margins.

It is this love that inspired generations upon generation to carry crosses, heal wounds, feed the hungry, love the unloved, all without recognition, all with great love.

As you and I reflect on these three questions, we are invited to better understand what it means to love God, and as a result, what it then requires.

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