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The Bridge Of Life

He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd
Mark 6:30-34

Sermon Topic Love

Sermon Week Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 6:34


In the Gospel of John, there is a conversation between Jesus and the Apostle Peter that can nourish our spirit and enrich our life. The Risen Lord and some of the disciples are sitting on the shore of the Sea of Galilee sharing a breakfast of bread and fish. In that setting, Jesus says to Peter, "Simon, Son of John, do you love Me more than these?" Peter answers, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love you." Again Jesus asks, "Do you love Me?" Then a third time: "Do you love Me?" And three times Peter answers in the affirmative: "Yes Lord, you know that I love you ... Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You." After each of Peter's responses, Jesus says in turn, "Feed My lambs ... Tend My sheep ... Feed My sheep" (Jn. 21:15-17). Scripture commentators have often observed that this must have been a painful moment for Peter who, only a short time before, had denied three times that he even knew Jesus. Jesus then says to Peter, "Follow Me." It is likely that Peter would immediately have remembered how it all began. He was on that same shore, mending his fishing nets, when Jesus had passed by, saying, "Follow Me." Now, three years later, Jesus is saying in effect: "Peter, you can put all your fears and doubts and denials behind you now. All is forgiven. All is forgotten. Here is your new opportunity! Here is your new life! Peter, I say to you again: 'Follow Me!'"

This New Testament episode reveals a powerful and beautiful truth for us. First of all, Jesus' question, "Do you love me?" takes us to the heart of the New Testament revelation. It is our love affair with God, through Christ, that is at the center of everything. It is the Source of our life, the Source of our power, the Source of our strength, the Source of our hope, the Source of our creativity, the Source of our wholeness as human persons. I do not know what each of you has on your mind [...]

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