April 12, 2010

feed, tend, feed

The restoration of Simon Peter is a beautiful albeit puzzling post-resurrection scene. It is lumped in with a miraculous catch story and, at least in Year C, lies alongside the story of Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus.

What strikes me at first glance this morning is Jesus' tasking Peter three times.
1- Feed my lambs
2- Tend my sheep
3- Feed my sheep

As the rock upon which the Church is built, it seems to me that this three-fold call to ministry is, for us, a lesson in lifestyle. As so there are many questions left in this peculiar interaction.

Is there, in Jesus' mind, a difference between lambs and sheep?
What is the difference between feeding and tending?

Or, is the only thing that really matters the last thing Jesus says in this pericope?

"Follow me."

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