Is our Gospel story today about the relationship between Jesus and Peter? Or is this a story about our living the life of Peter or, worse ever, us pretending to be Jesus?
Ummm. I wonder.
Jesus lovingly asks, “Peter, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. What a foolish question to ask me.”
“I recognize you,” says the courtyard worker. “You were with him!” Fishing for a quick answer, Peter says, “Foolish woman, get your glasses fixed; there’s no way I know that guy.”
“Heck, if he can walk on water, then why can’t I? Ooops, it’s kinda deep here. Oh no!”
Jesus affectionally re-asks, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter responds, “Well, we go again, two for two, you know I love you. Is the pope Catholic?”
Courtyard Lady doesn’t give up so easily. “I saw you walking with him all over town!” Peter replies, “Cataracts can be a severe condition – blurred vision, seeing starbursts while riding a donkey. I know an excellent ophthalmologist in Jerusalem; just mention my name. He accepts most HMOs.
Questioning Jesus asks Peter, “Who do people say that I am?” Peter insightfully and faithfully says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”
Peter also says, “Just look at all the fish we caught.” Apostle John said, ‘It’s the Lord out there.’ Peter jumps into the water in his underwear. He was eagerly wanting and willing to connect capturing fish in a net with his relationship with Jesus.
Courtyard Lady, Act Three. “I swear on my ancestors that you are the one seen with him. The hair and the beard. My eyes are fine.” Peter quickly replies, Hey, look, lady, in this neck of the woods, especially at night, we all look the same; now lay off of me.”
Jesus says to Peter after declaring him the “Christ, “Well said…for this has not been revealed to everyone,” Peter then draws Jesus aside and whispers in a Mafia-sounding voice, “I got you covered. Just listen to me. You know JC, now that I know what the “C” stands for can I call you “JC?” Now that we all know that you are the “Christ,” can’t’ we just skip this whole suffering stuff and start building up in Rome? I got an agent who can give us a great deal on prime Italian property – did I mention Caesar-tax-free.” Jesus replies, “Oh, Lil’ Petey, oh Lil’ Petey,” followed by a sentence we all know by heart, “Get behind me, Satan.”
Jesus, Act Three. “Simon, son of John, do you love me? Distressed Peter, only to now repeat for the third time and then later contradict for the same number of times in the courtyard, says, “You know that I love you.”
When do we glibly become “JC” as though we become Jesus the Christ? “JC” in our pretentious pretendings. “Lil’ Petey” is who we all live in the bright and guiding light of Jesus the Christ.
Feed my lambs. Feed my sheep. Feed my sheep. Feed my lambs.