Monday, June 28, 2010

What I Heard at the Vigil Tonight

The Gospel reading at the vigil tonight, the Festal Vigil for the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul, was the last bit of the Gospel of John. And what I heard was Jesus asking Peter three times, "Do you love me?" And it occurred to me, "Three times. That's the same number of times Peter denied Jesus. Wow! Jesus just helped Peter repent. He perfectly met Peter's need. He does that for me, too." And what up to that point had been for me, at the end of a long hot day, a difficult service to pay attention to, became like heaven. Even now, after being home for a while, it seems like the words of that Gospel reading are glowing in my mind.

Also, if anyone from Ss. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Ben Lomand, California is reading this, Happy Feast Day! And thank you. Yours was the first Orthodox parish I ever attended. It was a vespers service and it began to answer all the questions that had been piling up for several years. Thank you.

1 comment:

Alia said...

I think it is even more poignate when you see the two different greek words used:
(John 21:15-17 KJV w/ greek in bold)
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, agape thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I philos thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, agage thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I philos thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, philios thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Philios thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I philios thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep

Thanks for posting this. It connects up for me with Matt26:35-45 that I have been studing. With Jesus three times going to his disiples for companship in the watch and three times praying.