"Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
HO ARE YOU, Master, that you ask for love from your children and disciples? We have never heard of such a thing, not from a philosopher, mighty one or king. Who are you, Master, that you ask for our love and affection? Are you truly God, the Son of God? Are you truly the mighty one of the heavens and the earth? Are you the king of the ages and the master of all the universe? Who are you, Master, for I am terribly confused, that you ask for the love of man, and you are the creator of all mankind and all are indebted as slaves to you? Even more, how can you ask for affection from one who betrayed you and swore to the servant girls he does not know you; and when they said he is lying he swore and called down curses on himself? Even before the cross, if you had asked such questions we would not have been surprised, how much more after you rose and all heaven and earth were put in your hands! You who the angels serve and before whom the archangels tremble, do you ask for the affection of your servants?
O how your compassion overflows for our weakness and disgrace! — Dear reader, look at who you are. Have you lied, stolen, sworn falsely, committed violence, cursed or fought without reason? Look and never fear or doubt because he wants your love!!!
Precious reader, have you betrayed the Lord? Have you sworn by him falsely? Have you blasphemed him and sought the affection of Satan? Have you forgotten his promises and neglected his Gospel and befriended drunkards and joined yourself to adulterers? Be completely at rest because he still seeks your affection, really, truly; just as he desired Peter’s love right after he denied him before a servant girl!!!
O Master, I am perplexed by your love; is it the love of man for man, or from a god exalted above the heavens? Do you seek the love of Peter but do not love me? I betrayed you like Peter, so do you withhold your love from me?
O God of heaven and earth, I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you. Do you love me? Even if I suffer hostility from all men, and from this age with all its calamities, it makes no difference to me. One thing I seek, your love. So do you love me?
If you love me, in that I will glory more than all people, all the greatest of the world, and I will seek nothing beyond your love, not the love of anyone in existence, even my father, mother, brother or sister, because your love fills me and leaves no room within me for the world or even for heaven and its hosts. I will sit within the ranks of your saints and prophets and will raise my voice before them all and will say you love me.
If the world bares its fangs at me, if I lose all I have, all my loved ones and friends, and my father and mother treat me as an enemy, and all my children deny they know me, yet win your love alone, I will have overcome the world and all people.
Now, before I completely forget myself in the love of God, let me ask you dear reader, do you love the Lord?I, as you, take the tongue of Peter in answer to the Lord saying, “Lord, you know I love you.”
I love you Lord doubly: love because you loved me and love because you are worthy.
Finally, Lord, I beg you do not count against me my lying tongue, and I take Peter as my intercessor before you.
September 24, 2005
 John 21:15.
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