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Jesus Restores Us - Weekday Homily Video

Jesus Restores Us - Weekday Homily Video

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“Do you love me more than these…?” This question from Jesus to Peter has always been there, but it's only recently that its significance has dawned on me in a new way. What, or who, was Jesus referring to when he said the phrase “…more than these?”  


Logically, it would seem that Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Him more than the other apostles. If that is true, what was the significance of Jesus asking Peter this question before He ascended to Heaven?  


As I pondered these questions, I couldn't help but see their relevance in our lives. The 'these' in question could be anything. Do we love Jesus more than our material possessions: our cars, homes, and jewelry? Do we love Jesus more than our hobbies or recreation, i.e., tickets to tonight’s Bruin's game? Do we love Jesus more than our jobs, money, power, or popularity on social media?  Do we truly love Jesus more than these things, and do our actions reflect this love?  


Jesus Restores Peter


But that’s not the fullness of what Jesus was asking; He wanted to know if Peter loved Him more than Peter’s closest brothers in Christ. Now, we know that Jesus is asking this question in a three-part restoration of Peter.  

This is Peter, who promised to lay down his life for Jesus and yet, not long after, denied knowing Him three times in the Garden of Gethsemane.  


But did you notice how Jesus is the one who makes the first move to help Peter by beginning the conversation? We’ve all been there when we have hurt someone, and we’re tentative about how to start our apology.  

 Jesus, the one whom Peter hurt deeply, is the one who begins. And He does it by allowing Peter to repent and profess his love for Jesus, as we heard three times, undoing each of the denials of knowing Jesus. 


As a result, Jesus restores the relationship completely. His mercy is so generous that He does not hold Peter’s sins against him, the way we might tell someone they need to prove themselves to us beyond words or that the hurt is so great that we’ll need time. 


Infinite Forgiveness


This exchange between Jesus and Peter gives each of us a reason for hope; hope that can inspire us to overcome fear in Confessing our sins to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  


As often as I’ve been to Confession or heard Confessions, I know that it is human nature to wonder if God will forgive…either because of the repetition of our falling or the significant seriousness of the sin. 


Perfect Restoration


Make no mistake, Peter’s sin was very serious and yet Jesus wanted him to repent and be forgiven, to restore their relationship. The same is true for any of us who also go astray of Jesus. He wants to help us repair our relationship. And the significance of this encounter is also registered in the fact that it was God’s plan that Peter would be the chief shepherd, the Vicar of Christ after Jesus ascended to the Father. Jesus shows how His forgiveness of our sins allows us to serve others in His Name.  


Peter wasn’t just forgiven, demoted, and another Apostle raised to be the shepherd of Jesus’ sheep in His place. No, Jesus shows how the healing power of His mercy allows us to love Him and our brothers and sisters in Christ anew, with a deeper compassion fueled by our love for Jesus, more than anything or anyone.   

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About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!