Friday, May 17, 2013

Gospel Reflection

May 17, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Easter Season
by Rev. Fr. Julian C. Lupot, (Vicar, St. Joseph the Work Cathedral, Tagbilaran City, Bohol)
7:15AM Mass, St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral


Reading 1 Acts 25:13b-21

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea on a visit to Festus. Since they spent several days there, Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying, “There is a man here left in custody by Felix. When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation. I answered them that it was not Roman practice to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge. So when they came together here, I made no delay; the next day I took my seat on the tribunal and ordered the man to be brought in. His accusers stood around him, but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected. Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed was alive. Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy, I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem and there stand trial on these charges. And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody for the Emperor’s decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab

R. (19a) The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
R. Alleluia.

Gospel Jn 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them, he said to Simon Peter,“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a 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. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”


Our Church cannot exist without leaders. In today's Gospel, we hear about the inauguration of the papacy of Peter. Why inauguration? It is because the appointment of Peter as the leader of the Church first came in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16 verses 13-16, when Jesus told Peter, "You are Rock, and upon this Rock, I will build My Church." That was the first declaration of the primacy of Peter among Jesus's 12 Apostles. After that, as prophesied, Peter committed the sin of the three-fold denial of Jesus. When the cock crowed, Peter remembered the prophecy, and he lamented and cried bitterly. He had remorse in his heart. 

That is why after the Resurrection, this event happened. Since he was appointed leader, Jesus wanted to heal Peter. And how did Jesus heal Peter? Jesus had a very positive approach. He asked Peter, "Do you love Me?" And after the manifestation of love, there is corresponding penance. "Feed My lamb." 

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we are a wounded people. We are wounded families because of betrayals, like Peter did. And how do we heal woundedness? It is through forgiveness and reconciliation, and penance. The formula is love. This is our pastoral responsibility - to feed and tend the flock of our Lord. 

And this should also be our pastoral responsibility in our homes. Our growing children are the lambs that need to be fed by God's Word, by Christian values, on the perspective of love. The family is the community that reflects the Church that we tend to, as parents. We share the responsibility of Peter in our respective homes. This is the holy task of our dear fathers and mothers. You are the parish priests in your homes. Taken upon yourselves this pastoral responsibility of feeding your lambs, tending your home in order to make it a Christian home. 

My dear brothers and sisters, as we end the Easter Season, let us also reflect on the leadership of the Church. Let us remember that the leadership of the Church is also the leadership of the home.