I asked Peter if he loved me more than these. Theologians still debate about the meaning of ‘these’, but it is clear from the passage that Peter was troubled by my repeated questions. Do you love me more than the blessings I give? You have never been without them, so how can you know for sure? The Psalmist said that he would rejoice in the Lord though the fig tree shall not blossom and there be no fruit on the vine. This passage goes on to indicate a state of total poverty. Blessed are those who reach a sufficient state of detachment from the blessings I give that they don’t have to be deprived of them entirely to know that they love me more.
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