Acts 3:1-10; PS 19 Their message goes out through all the earth; Galatians 1:11-20; John 21:15-19
Untie by love that which is bound by your fear.
These are the words of St Augustine in today's office of readings in regards to his commentary on the solemnity of Peter and Paul. It is a commentary he writes in regards to Jesus asking Peter if he loves him three times in the gospel of John.
Jesus question of love is an invitation for Peter to untie by love the which was bound by his fear.
Think about fear and love for a moment.
How do they interact in our lives on a regular basis? So often, we are both blinded by love, we say, and blinded by fear. This is not so. Love does not blind but fear does.
Love binds us to true freedom. Fear blinds us to the truth that is before us.
Peter and Paul learned to untie by love what was bound by their fear.
Paul had great fear for the christians, so much so he persecuted prior to his own conversion. But upon encountering Christ on the road, his eyes were opened, literally scales were removed, and he began to see things differently as love often does for us. Paul put up walls because of his fear of Christians. He refused to understand them. He refused to get to know them. His prejudicial fear forced him to seek to kill what he was afraid of in life.
Peter was bound by fear, fear of being associated with Christ and afraid for his life, so much so he denies Christ three times on that Holy Thursday night. He was afraid others might know who he really was so he built walls of deception and lies, "i don't know the man." Fear paralyzed him and created walls.
Yet both were to encounter true love that was to set the free and unbind their fear. Peter on the shore of the sea of Galilee i the threefold invitation, "Peter, Do you love me." Peter did not meet condemnation but gentle invitation to come and see love.
Paul on the road to damascus. The bright light of love set Paul free from his fear and anger.
Both at the end of their life illustrate this love that unbound their fear. Paul was willing to lose his head as a Christian, no longer afraid of them but shedding his love as one. Peter no longer afraid of the cost of discipleship but now willing to give all as one to be crucified upside down.
Untie by love what fear bounds. It is not our love that unbinds fear but his love.
Where do we need this love to set us free, to unbind the fear that has paralyzed us in life and caused walls to be erected. His love comes to unbind the fear.
Untie by love what fear bounds.