Jesus’ gaze of love changes everything. When Jesus was about to be crucified, Peter denied Him 3 times. Jesus did not look at Peter with anger or bitterness.
Luke 22, 61-62: The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Jesus’look was a look of love that moved and hit the depth of Peter’s heart. He cried bitterly for his shame, his denial.
We too in our lives have said “No” to God’s love.
Question is: Where do I go from here?
We know the story of Peter. He denied Jesus-Yes. But Jesus did not give up on Him.
Instead, Jesus looked at Him with love. In John 21, Jesus came looking for Peter, His lost sheep.
Three times- Peter denied Jesus.
Three times- Jesus asked Peter: Do you love me?
Three times, Peter undid his No’s with “Yes, I love you. Yes. You know that I love you.”
What about us? Where do we go from here? Do we allow our Good Shepherd to find us? Do we have the desire to experience the joy of being loved unconditionally by God?
When I was 18 to 21 years old, it was the darkest moment of my life. I went for mass. I was the president of a church group. I was helping out in RCIA class. I was a catechist. I was active Catholic. Within, I felt the furthest away from God. I felt like I was in a dark hole, hidden and forgotten by God for the many stupid things I did at that time. In 1998, my sister and I organised a retreat for our young adults’ group in our parish. Verbum Dei Missionaries were the ones directing it. In the session of God the Father, we were given a letter from God the Father. In that letter, Isaiah 49 spoke to me loud and clear- and hit the deepest depth of my heart.
“How can I forget you? I have craved your name on the palm of my hand.”
I felt loved, despite my many faults and failures.I knew that God’s love is greater, much greater than all my sins.
I remembered the deep joy. That day, I chose to remain with God and let go of all the things that led me away from Him.
The experience of God’s mercy was the start of my journey that made me to be where I am today.
Sometimes, we think that God is angry and is waiting to punish us. We think that God loves us like how we experience our parents, friends, boss love and value us.
- When we do something good, we are praise.
- When we make a mistake, we are punished.
Hosea 11, 9: God said, ” I am God, not man.”
Let God be God. He looks at our sins, and offers us His mercy.
By Sr Sandra Seow, FMVD
Verbum Dei Missionaries
27th October 2015