Love Hurts

Greetings on this the Friday of the Seventh Week of Easter
Readings: Acts 25:13b-21; PS 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab; Jn 21:15-19
Note: Going deeper today. Saturday and Sunday are busy and not sure I can write. Saturday, two First Holy Communion Masses plus the Vigil Mass for Pentecost. Sunday the three English Masses.

Note: We are drawing to the close of the Easter Season. On Monday we begin Ordinary Time.
Pentecost brings the gifts of the Holy Spirit and within these gifts: greater realization and celebration of the Divine Love.

We celebrate in quick succession, after Pentecost, three Solemnities of the Lord:

  • Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
  • Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
  • Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

In the course of our Ordinary Time, an extraordinary realization:

  • The Lord is a dynamic unity within Himself, being love, ever self-giving of Himself completely to the equal of Himself.
  • The Lord has come and brings immanence of the Divine Presence into the Human Person and the sacrifice of the same presence for our salvation.
  • And, finally, the Lord brings transcendence of the divine love through the incarnation, and the sacred heart (essence, life) of Jesus Christ.
  • Love
  • Immanence
  • Transcendence

Yes, it applies to today’s readings 🙂

First Reading
I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.

We covered the phases of hearings or trials Paul went through prior to the final journey to Rome.

  • First he addressed those gathered to worship in the Temple.
  • Second he addressed the Sanhedrin.
  • Third he addressed Felix the Governor, then Festus.
  • Fourth he addressed King Agrippa.

Interesting in the first instance, the big problem wasn’t he was proclaiming Jesus as Christ, or his confession he was the chief executioner of the faith but that he was going to take the message of Jesus to the Gentiles.


In the second instance, Paul defended himself as has having a perfectly clear conscience. He also drove a wedge between the theology of the Sadducees and Pharisees.

  • LOVE is NOT LAW, it is driving force of HOPE in the resurrection.

In the third instance, Paul proclaims Christ, The Way.


In the fourth instance, Paul describes his witness as obedience to the Heavenly Vision. King Agrippa declared, ‘This man is doing nothing that deserves death or imprisonment. This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar’.

  • LOVE is OBEDIENCE to the Heavenly vision even unto death.

So as we saw Paul’s life parallels Jesus, here Paul’s life parallels Peter’s.

Responsorial Psalm
The Lord has established his throne in heaven.

We reassure ourselves the King is seated at the right hand of the Father!

Alleluia Verse
The Holy Spirit will teach you everything
and remind you of all I told you.

It is clear LOVE is a TAUGHT behavior.
The Father is LOVE, the Son is the EXEMPLAR of Love, the Holy Spirit is the TEACHER of Love.

A love beyond human and natural love. Rather a complete, immanent, and transcendent love.

Gospel Portion
Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?
Simon, son of John, do you love me?
Simon, son of John, do you love me?

You may have been taught hermeneutics describing three different uses of the word love (or at least two: agapaō and phileō) in the dialog between Peter and Jesus.

I do not want to say anything against that as it is very useful and reasonable.

We can say with greater certainty that the writer of the Gospel of John wanted to redeem Peter from his three denials of Jesus (Cock crowed, remember?).

But leveraging Paul’s trial/hearing journey we can see more.

  • LOVE is NOT POSSESSING, it is PROFESSING. Peter is being asked to forsake his prior life and follow Jesus.
  • LOVE is NOT LAW (OR the mistakes of breaking the law), but it is driving force of HOPE in the resurrection.
  • LOVE is CLAIMING THE BELOVED. Peter, do you claim me?
  • LOVE is OBEDIENCE to the Heavenly vision even unto death. Come: follow me even to a place you do not want to go.

Do you see it now?

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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