The Pontiff reflected on today's reading from the Gospel of John, and discussed the three different types of looks which Jesus gave to the Apostle Peter: those of choosing, forgiveness and mission.
Like the Apostles, each one of us, the Holy Father stressed, should consider whether Jesus looks at us with a call, with a pardon or with a mission.
Turning to the first look, the Pope recalled when the Apostle Andrew told his brother Peter that they had found the Messiah and took him to see Jesus. Christ looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Peter which means rock.” The Argentine Pontiff noted how enthusiastic Peter was after that first look and how he felt compelled to follow Jesus.
From this, the 78-year-old Pontiff, also noted how--the night before Jesus was crucified--the look by Jesus after Peter denied Him three times, "changed Peter's heart, more than before."
After that third denial, Jesus turned and looked directly at him and Peter wept. “The Gospel of Luke says: ‘He wept bitterly,'" Francis highlighted. "That earlier enthusiasm about following Jesus had turned to grief, because he had sinned: He denied that he knew Jesus."
That look by Jesus, the Successor of Peter said, “changed Peter’s heart, more than before.”
Jesus’ third look toward Peter was that of mission, evidenced when he asked Peter three times if he loved him and urged him to feed his sheep. Peter was hurt and saddened that the Lord would ask him a third time if he loved Him. To this Peter responded, "'Lord, You know everything: You know I love you.' Jesus replied: ‘Feed my sheep.’ This was the third look, a look of mission."
This look comes with the Lord's exhortation to ‘Feed my lambs,’ ‘Look after my sheep,’ ‘Feed my sheep.’”
“We too can reflect: what look is Jesus giving me today? How is Jesus looking at me? With a call? With a pardon? With a mission?”
Reminding those gathered how Jesus is now coming on the altar, he invited them to feel the Lord's presence and to ask Him to "Fix your gaze on me and tell me what I must do: how I must repent for my mistakes, my sins; what courage do I need to go forward on the path that You first created.”
As we live our lives, the Pontiff stressed, we are to realize we are always under Jesus' gaze. "He always looks at us with love. He asks us something, forgives us something and it gives us a mission."