3rd Sunday of Easter, Year C

Date: 
Sunday, May 5, 2019
Speaker: 
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

In today’s gospel, it seems like Peter is facing a sort of final exam from Jesus who questions him 3 times.  Jesus’ exam questions seem to be repetitive as all three questions are the same, “Peter, do you love me?”  But this exam is not merely an academic one.  These questions are not so much concerned with what Peter knows, but with who he is.

Now in English is seems like Peter does pretty good on the exam.  But if we look at the original Greek that the gospel was written in, we see that Peter fails miserably.  In Greek there are 4 words for love but in English we just use the one. When Jesus asks Peter if he loves him by using the word “Agape”.  This is the highest form of self-sacrificing love but Peter responds by using the word “philio”, a lesser form of love.  Another possible translation of today’s gospel could be something like this: Jesus says “Peter, do you love me enough to give your life for me?”  Peter responds, “Yes Jesus, you are a cool guy, I am pretty fond of you.”  So Peter affirms his love for Jesus, but he fails miserably to respond to the depth of love that Jesus is asking about.  Peter may have miserably failed the exam we hear in today’s gospel, but he eventually aces the exam as he gave his life in teaching and healing and eventually to giving his life being crucified upside down for the sake of the Christ.

 

This next week, you students will need to study and undergo exams that measure how much you know.  But your greater self-worth cannot be measured by filling in bubbles with a pencil or writing essays.  It is found in how we live our life.  As Jesus questions Peter, he also questions you and me.  Do you love me?   The true result of this test is found not by how much red ink is on our paper, but with how much love is in hearts.