Do You Love Me?

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We continue this week from where we left off in the Gospel of John. After they had breakfast, Jesus sat with Peter and asked him three times if he loved him. This is one of the last encounters that Jesus has with Peter and a very important one at that. Peter affirmatively responds three times with a yes to Jesus and each time Jesus entrusts him with the mission of taking care of his flock. You will notice that Jesus doesn’t ask Peter if he will be obedient, bow down to him or if he will follow his commands. He doesn’t ask him if he is an expert in philosophy or a scholar in Scripture or specialises in a particular branch of theology. Jesus simply asks him “Do you love me?” All Jesus asks for is love and it is this love that is central to our mission as followers of Christ.

As we carry out the mission of Christ, this love will most of the time take us to places that we do not want to go. This is what Jesus explains to Peter and to us today. Many times we are taken to the gates of hell by people that we love and trust. They even open up the gates for us and lead us to anger, hatred, resentment, vengeful thoughts. They lead us to sin! Unfortunately, they lead us to sin in his name. However, our service to these people in love will prevail and this is what will lead and guide us. You see, this is all that matters to Jesus, love. At the end of the day, it will not matter how many degrees I have or how many books I have written. The only thing that will matter is how much I loved!

Our Lady is an icon of this love. She is a wonderful example of compassion and affection. Our Lady always takes us to the place that our heart desires, the place in which we yearn for, she always takes us to her son Jesus. As we celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to three shepherd children; Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta; between May 13 and October 13, 1917; let us always remember to call on her intercession to lead us to her son, Jesus.

Like Our Lady, our mother’s also lead us to places that we want to go, peaceful and secure places where we feel the warmth of their tenderness and love. Our parish celebrated Mother’s Day on Tuesday with a beautiful Mass and luncheon. Our thanks go to Father Youwakim Noujaim, Subdeacon Danny Nouh and the ladies from our committees who worked together to make the day a beautiful day in which we honour the mothers of our parish. On behalf of all the clergy I would like to wish all our Mother’s a Blessed Mother’s Day. Thank you for all the sacrifices that you make for us. You are the love that shines like a beacon in our lives.

Fr Tony Sarkis

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