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Feed My Sheep

First Reading: Acts 25:13B-21

King Agrippa and Bernice arrived in Caesarea
on a visit to Festus.
Since they spent several days there,
Festus referred Paul’s case to the king, saying,
“There is a man here left in custody by Felix.
When I was in Jerusalem the chief priests and the elders of the Jews
brought charges against him and demanded his condemnation.
I answered them that it was not Roman practice
to hand over an accused person before he has faced his accusers
and had the opportunity to defend himself against their charge.
So when they came together here, I made no delay;
the next day I took my seat on the tribunal
and ordered the man to be brought in.
His accusers stood around him,
but did not charge him with any of the crimes I suspected.
Instead they had some issues with him about their own religion
and about a certain Jesus who had died
but who Paul claimed was alive.
Since I was at a loss how to investigate this controversy,
I asked if he were willing to go to Jerusalem
and there stand trial on these charges.
And when Paul appealed that he be held in custody
for the Emperor’s decision,
I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar.”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20AB

R. (19a) The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
and all my being, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he put our transgressions from us.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Bless the LORD, all you his angels,
you mighty in strength, who do his bidding.
R. The Lord has established his throne in heaven.

Gospel: John 21:15-19

After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them,
he said to Simon Peter,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time,
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time,
“Do you love me?” and he said to him,
“Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger,
you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted;
but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands,
and someone else will dress you
and lead you where you do not want to go.”
He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God.
And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

NAB

may 13

“People are dying here because they need bread and we’ve got it in our hands and we either don’t think it’s real bread or we really don’t care.” – Ann Voskamp

Do you love me? Feed my sheep.

The world is starving. The problem is . . . we do not wish to be inconvenienced with feeding other people when we are trying to feed ourselves. It’s too awkward to ask strangers or acquaintances whether they have heard about the love of Jesus Christ. We rarely feel we have enough energy for our own lives, what energy is there left to be Jesus in the world?

I will be the first to say it . . . I am lukewarm. If I wasn’t lukewarm, every person who sits on a plane next to me would leave knowing about Jesus. If I wasn’t lukewarm, I would give until it truly hurts and I would step outside my own selfishness more often than I do to sacrifice. If my heart was burning with love for Jesus, every person I encounter would leave me knowing that Jesus loves them. I don’t usually do it . . . I have bread in my hands but perhaps I don’t think it’s real or I really don’t care.

I am keeping the bread to myself.

One day on a flight, the man in the row behind me began a conversation with the guy next to him. Jason showed kind interest in Michael’s life. As Michael talked about visiting his girlfriend in South America, I trailed off to sleep. When I awoke, Jason was telling Michael about the person of Jesus Christ. Michael was not raised in faith . . . and “doesn’t really believe in much.”

Jason knows the bread he has in his hands and he knows it is his most spectacular calling to give it away.

Before landing, Jason asked Michael if he could pray over him. Michael accepted. This man had the courage to feed Christ’s sheep . . . to give a man hungry for Love the truth that outlasts any flimsy promise of fulfillment the world will ever offer him.

Do you love me?

When Jesus asks me . . . I want the evidence that I do to be overwhelming.

I don’t want the times I kept the bread for myself to outweigh the times I have given it away . . . and the only person who has the power to change that is me.

If this is the way Jason lives . . . he has evidence to fill his home and all the barns in the backyard. As we de-planed, I turned around to Jason and thanked him.

Do you love me?

Yes, Jesus, we do.

Feed my sheep.

You have bread in your hands. Are you giving it away?

Challenge yourself today to work your love for Christ into a conversation with a person who may not know of your faith—you have the bread and every person you meet today needs it!

photo credit

Emily Wilson planned her whole life to become a sports reporter but turned out to be a Catholic musician and speaker at the hand of God. She lives out of her suitcase and travels across the world speaking to people of all ages. The heart of her ministry is offering encouragement to teen girls in search of their true identity, and she loves ever second of it. You can find out more about her here.

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