For a real conversion there is no need for long homilies on the world’s evil or the evils hidden in your life. Few words are enough for Jesus to change the direction of your steps … just one question to pierce your heart. This Gospel passage is illuminated by one simple question: “Where?” The question of every quest, every treasure hunt that kids play and we ourselves play whenever we lose something: a ring, our glasses, the direction of our life. Where? Where are you, and where are you going? To ask “where” is to enter a deeper awareness of our living.
I don’t know if this happens to you, but in prayer I often wonder whether the Lord feels loved by me ... and I seem to find myself in a similar situation as Peter when our risen Lord appeared to him on the shore of Lake Tiberias and asked him this inconvenient question: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
In order to answer this question, we must go back to the scene of the Last Supper, when Jesus announced that his Disciples would be scandalized by that night, and for this reason, they would abandon him. Matthew tells us that Peter answered with his usual spontaneity that he would never deny his Master even if this cost him his life. We know, however, how things went for poor Peter: He denied the Lord three times, but the Gospel tells us that he also began to “curse and swear” that he had never seen that Jesus that they accused Peter of following. Peter denied the Lord three times and then the cock crowed. Luke adds the detail of Jesus’ gaze after Peter’s denial and the remorseful flight of him on which Jesus had promised to found the church.
When you are afraid of not having what it takes and doubt you are even able to love, you can offer this very poverty. With gratitude, Jesus will multiply your humble gift. For my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 2:19) The loaves we have are exactly the ones he needs: five, seven, a thousand … .