He said unto him the third time,
Simon, son of Jonas, do you love me?
Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Do you love me? And he said unto him, Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you. Jesus said unto him,
Feed my sheep.
Read Chapter 21
Cornelius a Lapide
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time lovest thou Me, and he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep (Syriac, My lambs). Why does Christ thrice ask Peter if he loved Him, and thrice repeat, Feed My sheep? I answer, the first reason Isaiah , that Peter, by a triple and constant profession, of his singular love, might expiate and change his three-fold denial of Christ. So Cyril, Leontius, Theophylact, Bede, and S. Augustine, which last thus writes (Tract123): "For a threefold denial a threefold confession is rendered, that the tongue might not seem to serve love less than fear, and that impending death might not seem to elicit more speech than Present Life. Let it be the office of love to feed the Lord"s flock, if it was the mark of fear to deny the Shepherd. If any feed Christ"s sheep with this disposition, that they wish them t...
You know all things, means, things present, and things to come. Do you see how he had become better and more sober, being no more self-willed, or contradicting? For on this account he was troubled, lest perchance I think that I love, and love not, as before when I thought and affirmed much, yet I was convicted at last. But Jesus asks him the third time, and the third time gives him the same injunction, to show at what a price He sets the care of His own sheep, and that this especially is a sign of love towards Him. And having spoken to him concerning the love towards Himself, He foretells to him the martyrdom which he should undergo, showing that He said not to Him what he said as distrusting, but as greatly trusting him; wishing besides to point out a proof of love towards Him, and to instruct us in what manner especially we ought to love Him. Wherefore He says, ...