Daily Reflection
June 9th, 2000
Tom Krettek, S.J.
Philosophy Department
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Acts 25:13-21
Psalms 103:1-2, 11-12, 19-20
John 21:15-19

Saint Augustine’s saying that “He alone teaches me anything who sets before me the things which I desire to know,” comes to mind as I read today’s first reading.  

Festus dismisses the whole incident with Paul as a difference “over issues in their own religion, and about a certain Jesus who had died but who Paul claimed is alive.”  His attitude is similar to that of Herod who was hoping to see Jesus do some “tricks.”  Festus, unlike the disciples on the road to Emaus or the family of Cornelius, had no desire to know about Jesus or the power that raised him from the dead.  He was expecting a real crime.

We find ourselves at the very end of the Easter season.  We have been considering for almost three months the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the one whom we acknowledge as Lord.  Sunday is Pentecost.  In light of or in response to the graces of these weeks of Lent and Easter, how have our desires changed?  What new do we hope for?

Once again Peter’s experience is helpful to me.  He has lived through what the Christian community has been reflecting on during these many days.  After their meal together, Peter replaces his threefold denial of even knowing Jesus during the Passion with a threefold affirmation of his love for Jesus.  Each time he is missioned to the service of others just as the Christian community at the close of each Eucharist is missioned to love and serve the Lord by loving and serving others.  However, Jesus understands that Peter remains Peter even in his knowing the Risen Jesus.  

The words indicating the God-glorifying death of Peter, "I tell you solemnly: as a young man you fastened your belt and went about as you pleased; but when you are older you will stretch out your hands, and another will tie you fast and carry you off against your will," reveal that Peter still will not want to die.  They take on an added force as I deal with people who find themselves facing death or in circumstances that they, too, do not will, but who find consolation in the Eucharist.  They, like Peter, will follow Jesus.

In light of this, what seems to me good to hope for is what Paul desired, namely, to know Jesus and the power of his resurrection.

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