“Do you love me?” (John 21:16

“After Jesus had revealed himself to his disciples and eaten breakfast with them” is the beginning of today’s Gospel (John 21:15-19). Throughout Lent and the Easter season Jesus has been “eating breakfast” with us and nourishing us through the long days of isolation and learning to cope with a new reality. Each day he has asked us “Do you love me?” and has reminded us to care for his sheep.

Today in the universal Church we celebrate the feast of Pope Saint Paul VI who beatified Eugene de Mazenod and summed him up as:

“Eugene de Mazenod was a man passionately in love with Jesus Christ and unconditionally committed to the Church.”

Eugene was able to be this only because of his intimate love for Jesus his Savior, with whom he “ate breakfast” every day as he cared for his sheep.

In the Mazenodian world we celebrate today the feast of Blessed Joseph Gerard OMI.

Surrounded by hardship and failure, he too continued to care for the sheep in Southern Africa because he “ate breakfast” every day with Jesus whom he loved and whose love he shared.

“Do you love me?” is the question Jesus asks me today as he “eats breakfast” with me – and then he says “look after my sheep who are all around you.”


(For further details on Blessed Joseph Gerard see

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I imagine that we have all grown up with our parents or others reminding us to eat
    a good breakfast. We’re told over and over again that it is the most important meal of the day and that our ability to cope and work and serve could well depend on what we have had for breakfast.

    And here we are this morning contemplating on how we eat breakfast with Jesus. Looking at how Jesus nourishes us for the day ahead of us. His time with us and our time with him being quite intentional.

    Jesus asks “do you love me”? He knows the answer but still he asks – every day. And then he tells us what that love will look like.

    I think of Blessed Joseph Gerard and this being his feast day. He worked so hard for so long without being able to see the fruits of his labours. And yet every day he would set out – to love and care for those who he was called to take care of. He persevered and I have often contemplated on how he did that. Blessed Joseph’s response to Jesus after ‘breaking fast’ with him was to go out and love.

    I am reminded of his statement that we saw in yesterday’s offering: “The answer is on every page of the Gospel: we must love them, love them in spite of everything, love them always. The good God has wanted that we do good to a person in loving that person…” (Blessed Joseph Gerard) Like Peter he was sent to care for his sheep, just as was Albert Lacombe and the members of the Calvary of Christ, like Mario Borzaga and so many others; too many to write all of their names and then add to them the names of our brothers and sisters of today.

    It is from this platform that we are launched each day, being sent out to love and care-for and then returning at the end of the day to rest and be replenished, to be nourished for the coming day.

    These are the words that arise from depths of our beings and which express who we are.

    Do you love me? Yes Lord, you know that I love you.

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