Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
(Acts 25:13b-21; John 21:15-19)
Many evangelical Protestants openly profess their love of Jesus. But surely love of the Lord is as much a characteristic of true Catholics. Mother St. Teresa of Kolkata used to describe herself by saying, “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.”
In today’s gospel Jesus uses love for him as the sole criterion for the substitute leader of his flock. Some will scoff that it is silly to say that we love someone who died two thousand years ago. They will question what kind of love it is if the beloved, like a homerun king or a rock star, has millions of professed lovers. But these objections really do not faze believers because they know that Jesus is alive and dwells among them spiritually.
We too can have a personal relationship with Jesus. By meditating on the gospel and by caring for the poor, we sense that he is close to us. Because he is God, he can assist all who hold him as their beloved.