Holy Land Pilgrimage

Lord, You Know All Things…

February 25, 2022

A couple of days ago, Dan Korenchan reflected in his blog post about Jesus’s words to Saint Peter on the shore of the sea of Galilee after His resurrection: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”  This is a very theologically rich passage, and part of its depth comes from the fact that Peter’s response, however heartfelt, is still imperfect.  For example, scripture scholars will point out that in the original language of the Gospel, Peter’s responses use a less powerful word for “love” than Jesus’s questions.  But while I was praying with this passage, another detail in Peter’s responses stuck out to me: Peter answers more than Jesus is asking.  He responds the final time, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus asked a very specific, yes-or-no question: “do you love me?”  So what is Peter doing when he says, “You know all things”?  He is taking Jesus’s very particular, personal question and making it more general, less personal.  The question was not about “everything”; the fact that Jesus knows everything is beside the point.  The question was, “Do you love me?”

I think that John adds this detail for a good reason; this is a very real temptation for us in our relationship with Jesus.  We take Jesus’ unique love for us and we generalize it; we forget how personal it is.  Yes, Jesus loves everyone, but He also loves you with a personal, particular love.  Yes, Jesus knows our every need even before we ask, but He still wants to hear from you.  Here in Galilee, the land where Jesus himself called Simon Peter by name and personally formed him to be his apostle, I pray for myself and those I serve to accept that particular love and calling that Jesus has uniquely for each of us.

Andrew Morand
Diocese of Lafayette

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