Today's Gospel in Art - Simon, do you love me?

  • Patrick van der Vorst

Peter's denial, by Peter's denial, by Anton Robert Leinweber 1919 © Christian Art

Peter's denial, by Peter's denial, by Anton Robert Leinweber 1919 © Christian Art

Gospel of 29th May 2020 - John 21:15-19

Jesus showed himself to his disciples, and after they had eaten he said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?' He answered, 'Yes Lord, you know I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my lambs.' A second time he said to him, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' He replied, 'Yes, Lord, you know I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Look after my sheep.' Then he said to him a third time, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, 'Do you love me?' and said, 'Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep.

'I tell you most solemnly, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.'

In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, 'Follow me.'

Reflection on the Gouache on Paper

Today's Gospel reading shows how Jesus deals with failure by one of His closest friends, and outright betrayal. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. As we know, after the third denial, the cock crowed and Peter remembered Jesus' prediction. Peter then began to cry bitterly… he repented. Peter's denial was probably based on weakness (not standing up for his faith in Christ) and fear (that he too might get killed if he admitted to being a close friend of Christ). In today's reading, we see God's grace in action and how Christ is equipping Peter to strengthen his resolve in order to build our Church.

We all love Peter, because he is so much like us. He has all the failures and fears we all have. In his faith in his friend Jesus, he overestimates what he can achieve and underestimates his own weaknesses. By denying Jesus three times, he did realise that actually he is much weaker than he thought. It was a crucial realisation. By the time we get to the reading of today, even though he has seen the risen Jesus, Peter is really a broken man. But Jesus continues to put His trust in him…

Jesus used Peter's three denials, to turn him from a weak and fearing Simon, into Peter, the Rock of our Church.

LINKS

Today's story - https://christianart.today/reading.php?id=436

Christian Art Today - www.christian.art


Tags: Christian Art Today, Patrick van der Vorst, Peter's denial, by Anton Robert Leinweber 1919 © Christian Art

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

Please support our journalism by donating today.

Donate