Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
When the risen Christ addressed Peter here telling him to “Feed my sheep”…it is said Jesus was alluding to the kind of death Peter would suffer in following Him. Perhaps this is so. But on a deeper level, could this not be a message for each of us about our priorities depending on our level of consciousness or faith? When we are young, we tend to do whatever pleases our whims and physical desires. We serve our “false selves” if you will. But as we get older and wiser (usually the second half of life but sometimes sooner for those who are graced by spiritual enlightenment usually through suffering or loss of control)…we see that the “false self” is hollow. We realize that there is a deeper yearning. Our “true selves” are crying out to be heard and to grow. For this to happen…we have to “die” to our “false selves” and our ego’s empty desires…so that God can lead us and Christ can grow in us. It is then that we will find our true purpose in building a more just and compassionate world (God’s kingdom). But we will no doubt be led to places we at one time would never have dreamed of going when our “false selves” were in control. Then we will find our unique mission in feeding Christ’s sheep.
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Remember…God loves you!