A third time Jesus asks, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” So Peter said to him: “Lord, you know everything. You know well that I love you.”
Jesus answered, “Feed my sheep.”
The three repetitions remind us of the three times Peter denied Jesus in the courtyard of the high priest. In that scene Peter, afraid for his life, refused to own up to any connection with Jesus. Here by the lake, Jesus asks him to affirm that they still stand together in love and mission. Jesus gives Peter a responsibility but not a superior role. Peter is to feed, tend, and love the community, not lord it over the flock.
How have Church pastors tended and nourished you?