He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
My Jesus, after your Resurrection, you gave Peter the opportunity to affirm you three times. During your passion, he had denied you three times. You do not merely forgive us. You give us chances to forgive ourselves.
With our logical, human minds, we feel that we need to balance the scales, and you humor us, though your mercy is not measured.
You command Peter to feed your sheep. You need nothing for yourself; we can give to you only by giving to our neighbors.
You tell Peter that he will stretch out his hands and someone else will lead him where he does not want to go. You predict for him the glory of martyrdom. “Follow me,” at this point, means, “Participate in my passion.” Just as you had called him from his boat to be your disciple, you call him again to be with you in Eternity.
Am I afraid to die, Lord? As a child, I longed for martyrdom because I thought it was my only salvation. Now, you have shown me how to acknowledge my own weakness and still trust in your mercy. I welcome whatever death you choose for me. Just let me die to my sins and selfishness now. That is all that matters. Thy will be done.