In 2000, on a stormy gray day, I stood on the beach in Galilee where Jesus is said to have appeared to his disciples for the last time. It was a small, pebbly, utterly unremarkable beach, but something in its atmosphere brought me to my knees.
Although I have a lover’s quarrel with the churches erected in his name, Jesus has
always been the greatest love of my heart. I loved him as a small boy, and I shall love him until the day I die; I pray always that my last thoughts will be of him.
It was on this beach that Jesus ate a meal of freshly caught fish with Peter and a group of other disciples. I had my small family Bible with me, and I turned to the last chapter
of St. John’s Gospel and read out these words quietly:
“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of Jonas,
lovest thou me more than these?’ He saith unto him. ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee..’ He saith unto him, ‘Feed my lambs.’
He saith unto him again the second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?’
He saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.’ He saith unto him,
‘Feed my lambs.’
He saith unto him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?’
Peter was grieved, because he said unto him the third time, ‘Lovest thou me?’
And he said unto him, ‘Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.’
Jesus saith unto him, ‘Feed my sheep.’ “
I had known these words since my earliest childhood, but until that day I had never experienced their full force. That day I understood that when the love that moves the sun and stars starts to become real inside you, it compels you to act in whatever way you can to “feed my sheep.” That is how you know that you are starting to become an authentic spiritual being.
Andrew Harvey in The Hope: A Guide To Sacred Activism, p. 10