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A primacy of Love and service

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  • Thomas Daniel
    The Risen Jesus at His table of forgiveness, gives Peter a chance to undo his three denials of the Crucified one, and catechizes him into a renewal of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 20, 2003
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      The Risen Jesus at His table of forgiveness, gives Peter a chance to
      undo his three denials of the Crucified one, and catechizes him into
      a renewal of discipleship, along with John the beloved, to leave
      behind a Church which is a community of Love, with Peter as "Prince"
      (i.e., First) of the Apostles.

      There is no doubt about Peter's Primacy. It is not a primacy of
      power, but a primacy of Love and service that Jesus leaves him in
      John's gospel.

      The Risen Jesus here promises Peter a primacy of witness as well--
      a death like his own. The compiler of the evangel then notes the
      martyrdom of Peter when he has Jesus prophesy "the kind of death by
      which he would glorify God," for he said to him, "when you grow old
      you will stretch out your hands and someone else will fasten a belt
      around you and take you where you do not wish to go." And in spite of
      that warning, "After this he said to him, 'Follow me'".

      Eusebius, following Origen, records that Peter was crucified, head
      down, in penance for having denied the Lord.

      Peter, the Rock, became the Scandalon, the Stone of Stumbling, and
      himself tripped on it. But unlike Judas he was rescued by the Risen
      One, restored, and invited to share the Table forever with the Church
      throughout the ages, and to feed the flock. Invited to that Table too
      is Paul, who himself found Peter's denial a skandalon, and said
      so "to his face." They are joined together with us in this day of
      mutual forgiveness and our celebration of the founders of the City
      of God.
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