Third Sunday of Easter, May 1, 2022
A favorite musical of mine is “Fiddler on the Roof.” And a favorite song from that musical is “Do you love me?” In the song, Tevye asks his wife, Golde, that important question, "Do you love me?“ Instead of answering the question directly, Golde first lists all the things she has done for her husband in the last twenty-five years … washed his clothes, cooked his meals, even milked his cow! The list convinces even her that the answer is “Yes”. Not simply emotional attachment but loving behaviors have given evidence of her love.
In today's gospel Jesus asks Peter the same question, “Do you love me?” In fact, he asks Peter the question three times. And when Peter says “Yes”, Jesus tells him to show that love in action. “Feed my sheep. “
Here in the midst of Eastertide, having contemplated Jesus's sufffering, death and resurrection, it is easy for us also to proclaim our grateful love for Jesus. Is it possible that Jesus follows our declaration with the same directive… Feed my sheep? That for us also our love for the Lord is best given flesh and blood by our care for one another?
We may not have Peter’s responsibilities, but we have our own. Certainly, our care for those closest to us can be our way of returning love to Jesus. But our family and friends are not his only sheep. So, too, are the poor, homeless, the hungry. Directly and indirectly, as our opportunity and means make possible, Jesus asks us to feed those sheep also.
“Do you love me?,” Jesus asks. How do you answer?
by: Pat Schnee