“…but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” It is an interesting and acquired taste of irony that we enter this life needing someone else to dress, feed and clean up after us only to find that toward the very end of this amazing life, we will depend on others, not the same people, obviously, to do the same for us. What can we learn from this? One aspect is clear. We are brought into the world with the almost inescapable lessons of service and self-emptying to hopefully initiate for the years that we have with the not-so-unrealistic hope that others will still be there for us when we are at the depths of need and dependence.
“Simon, son of John, do you love me?” This is precisely why the question that Jesus asks of Peter in the Gospel (and actually three entire times obviously to make a divine point) is startling and realistically geared for each and everyone of us who seeks to live a life of integrity and peace and one day find our eternal home in heaven. Life is certainly too short and too fragile to live selfishly. We are placed here to help each other and everyone has a distinct mission to fulfill. God placed you and me here for a definite and wonderful reason and we first find out what that is and then live life to the absolute fullest. When Jesus asks us, “do you love me?,” the only way to answer is to show Him how much we love each other.
Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows. St. Pope Paul VI