Pondering the first stage of love: “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” These? Worldly pleasures & allurements. Selfish ambition. Its not what is in the trophy case, or the case itself, but the One who already achieved the win.
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” – Lambs? Lamb is a young sheep. Pondering the souls not yet in full mature faith. To nurture and teach. But what to teach? And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” Never reaching back into the worldly allurements but seeing that what is above. Feeding the Spiritually nutritious foods, that being the Word of God and not just gobbling it down and rushing off to do what is fun and exciting to the eye, but teaching how to gnaw on the Word and chewing it over and over until it become pliable and the flavor is released. In prayer, while praying, do I rush through or do I pray slowly, allowing the words to penetrate into the deepest depths of my being? DO I hear what is being said from the Sacred Heart of my Lord or do I argue with the Word? Do I seek to allow Love to deepen within or do I seek to teach the Lover when the Lover already knows what I need?
He then said to Simon Peter a second time,“Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
Tend? To tend means to behave in a particular way. What one sees, one does. What behavior of a soul consists of is the characteristics of the soul in living the life in the Spirit internally and externally. Externally being that of piety and the continued good behaviors, not seeking to justify bad behavior for self gain but living in Truth but for the benefit of the other. Sacrifice. Act, live, think, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. Put on the new man and cast away all that you once were. Why? Because True Love commands it. Not for fear, but for the sake of Love.
What is a sheep? Older than a lamb. Submissive. Giving in to Love and not being hard headed.
He said to him the third time,“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a 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.”
To feed is to supply. To supply souls with what he has been given in Love, for Love. Not only in Word but in Deed and Spirit. Not only physically, but Spiritually and radiating it to the flock from within the heart that is joined to His completely. Agape. 100%