Do We Allow God's Love Into Our Hearts
Friday of Week 7 in Eastertide
Acts. 25:13-21 & Jn. 21:15-19
Paul is now in Caesaria; he is a Roman citizen and has appealed his case to the emperor, and now he awaits the royal decision.
Why did Jesus question Peter's love and fidelity three times in front of the other apostles? It must have caused Peter pain and sorrow since he had publicly denied Jesus three times. Now Peter, full of remorse and humility unequivocally stated that he loved his Master and was willing to serve Him whatever it might cost. When Jesus asks Him, "Do you love Me more than these?” Jesus may have pointed to the boats, nets and catch of fish, challenging Peter to abandon his work as a fisherman for the task of shepherding God's people. Jesus also may have pointed to the other disciples in view of Peter's previous boast, "Though all lose faith in You, I will never lose faith" (Mt. 26:33). Peter now makes no boast nor comparison but humbly responds, "You know I love You."
The Lord Jesus calls each one of us, even in our weakness, sin and failings, to love Him above all else. Saint Augustine in his Confessions wrote, "Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new. Late have I loved You! ... You shone Your Self upon me to drive away my blindness. You breathed Your fragrance upon me ... And in astonishment I drew my breath ... Now I pant for You! I tasted You, and now I hunger and thirst for You. You touched me! - l burn to live within Your peace"
(Confessions 10:27). Nothing but our sinful pride and wilfulness can keep us from the love of God. It is a free gift, unmerited and beyond payment. We can never outmatch God in generosity. He loved us first and our love for Him is a response to His exceeding graciousness and mercy towards us. Do we allow God's love to change and transform our heart?
Lord Jesus, inflame our hearts with Your love and remove everything that is unloving, unkind, ungrateful, unholy, and not in accord with Your will.