Feed My Sheep

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” — John 21:15

This past Wednesday, the Church commemorated the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul. The Gospel reading appointed for that day is known and loved by many. 

Jesus gives Peter a three-fold command to “feed my sheep,” as a response to Peter’s three-fold declaration of love for Jesus. The setting is one of the last of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances to the disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus prepares a breakfast for them, and then commissions Peter with the task of feeding his sheep and tending his lambs.

Feed my lambs; Tend my sheep; Feed my sheep. Who are these lambs? The sheep? Like Peter, how do we express our love for Jesus and how are we being asked to respond? Jesus invites us with our wondering minds and inquisitive spirit to think about the nuisances of these very similar imperatives.  

For over twenty-five years, our parish has taken Jesus’ words to Peter very seriously. Our formation offerings of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and Journey to Adulthood feed and tend both our lambs and sheep; children, teens and adults.

As the director of children’s formation, I am excited to be expanding my role at St. Peter’s with children and families. Like St. Peter, may we continue to express our love for Jesus, honoring Jesus the Good Shepherd’s abundant model of love and care. Please contact (ahurdle@st-peters.org) me for more information about volunteer opportunities with children’s formation. 

Anna Hurdle, Director of Children’s Formation

Sunday

Holy Eucharist, Rite I, 8:30 a.m., Church
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 11:00 a.m., Church and Livestream
Coffee Hour Fellowship, 12:15 p.m., Parish House Lobby