. . . you know that I love you.
The Lord asks Peter three times in today’s Gospel, “Do you love me?” The first two times Jesus asks “do you love me,” he uses agape love. (Agape love is total, self-giving love; a love willing to die for the beloved). Peter answers him two times. “Yes, I love you,” using the word philia, meaning friendship love. When the Lord asks the third time, he asks Peter if he loves him using the word philia, or friendship love. This time, Peter, distressed, responds with, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” He has again responded with philia love. The Lord concludes this exchange with, “Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you use 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 to where you do not want to go.” Jesus prophecies that Peter will reach the next level of love, agape, for he will give everything of himself, including his life. Peter will be martyred out of agape love, total self-sacrifice and unconditional love for the Lord.
Mighty is Her Call.
Mighty is Your Call.
Mighty is My Call.
I just spent Holy Week with many families on a Holy Week Family Encounter in Ireland. I met many moms, spent time chatting about life, love, kids, and Jesus. No matter where we go in the world, mothers are of a like-and-kind stock: we share in the holy call to raise a family up, to be wives, to be sisters, and now, to be a grandmother. We tend to not see the good and the goodness in our lives because we are so busy with the detail. Whether we work outside the home, are self-employed, or educating our children in the home, or busy with pregnancies, deliveries, and yet another go with the newborn clothes—our call is mighty. We are bringing life and love, and we are serving life and love. Were I to meditate on the Lord asking me if I loved him, I would hesitate . . . because I want to say to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know I that I love you.”
Would he ask me three times? Would he ask you?
I speculate that we all fluctuate between loves, and yet, at the end of the day, we are in agape love: with those in our lives who make visible the invisible, our husbands and our children. Can we accept the daily routines as signs of love for our Lord? Are we not doing his will?
Today, when my Redeemer King, my living Lord, God of all, asks me if I love him, agape, I will answer him: “Yes Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you, agape.”
Sisters, let us be joined together in this mighty call.