ST PHILIP NERI, P (Memorial) White
He founded the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity. He preached the gospel and had many converts. As a priest, he worked in Rome, heard confessions for hours and could tell penitents their sins before they confessed it. He declined from being made a cardinal when Pope Gregory XIV wanted to make him one. He founded the Congregation of the Oratory, a group of priests dedicated to preaching and teaching. He died in 1595 and was canonised by Gregory XV in 1622.
First Reading: Acts 25:13b-21; Psalm: 103. R.v. 19a; Gospel: Jn 21: 15-19
JUST ANOTHER CHANCE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Peter had always desired to undo his disavowal of Christ ever since he denied knowing Him. The bitter tears he shed after he denied Christ came with a deep desire for another opportunity to prove his love for Christ. When Christ rose from the dead, for each of Peter’s three denials, Christ gave him three opportunities to profess his devotion and commitment to Him again.
There are three Greek words used for love in this interlocution: Agape which is the highest love (the unconditional love) and Phileo, human affection or friendship. Jesus asked Peter the first and second time “Do you love me?” (Agapas me?). And Peter replied in these two occasions: “I love you” (Philo se). But the third time, Jesus asked: “Do you love me like a friend?” (Phileis me?). Jesus wanted Peter to know he accepted him in friendship and forgave him for his disavowal of knowing Him. Peter’s commitment this time around was not just a mere pronouncement for he will eventually lay down his life in the future for the flock which Christ handed over to him.
God is always ready to give us a second chance to prove our love for him and amend our ways if only we were truly sorry for our sins. He is a true friend ready to welcome us back anytime we return. We are not too damaged to be repaired or too imperfect to be perfected. Our sins can never be too grave to be forgiven. If we desired to come back; God will be waiting to help us. All we need to do is to take that bold step towards God and leave the rest for his grace to carry on.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Risen Lord, give us the courage to return to you no matter how grave our sins are. Amen.