FEAST OF ST. PETER, APOSTLE AND MARTYR.
"LOVEST thou Me more than these? . . . Lovest thou Me? . . . Lovest thou Me? . . . " spake to His Apostle the Lord God, the Wise Master, the injured Friend. "Peter was grieved . . . And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee."
But if St. Peter knew it, much more Christ. Even throughout the threefold denial, while, it may be, for the moment the fallen saint himself knew it not; yet He who was greater than his heart and knew all things, still knew it.
Then Christ "looked" in love, and Peter went out and wept bitterly. Now Christ questioned in love, and Peter was grieved.
These grievous dealings were the faithful wounds of a friend who loveth at all times: for if the servant loved his Lord, much more that Lord His servant.
Whatever may appear disputable about St. Peter, his love is indisputable. If other branches of study suitable to his Festival are too difficult for us, let us contentedly study love.
But which love, the lesser or the greater? St. Peter himself could by no means love God, except as having been first loved by God.
We shall love St. Peter and all other saints well, when we love our Lord Jesus better still. "Love all for Jesus, but Jesus for Himself," writes a master in the science of love.
And whatever may be doubtful, this remains certain: every man who loves God a little, is loved by Him much: every man who loves God much, is still loved by Him more.