Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him. Thus the Lord gave Peter the opportunity to be reconciled with him for his threefold denial.
What does the word “reconciliation” mean? It is derived from the latin term cilia, meaning eyelashes. To be re-conciled is to be brought eyelash to eyelash with another, to see face to face, eye to eye.
Jesus was perceived by the first Christians as the fulfillment of this hope of Israel. He was himself, in person, the reconciliation of divinity and humanity. This is why Paul calls him the New Adam. This is why the doctrinal tradition refers to him as true God and true man.
This is also why Jesus is called Soter, Salvator, Savior. He is the healer of the rift between God and the human race. And Jesus’ whole ministry, therefore, is one of reconciliation, of restoring humanity to right praise, to orthodoxy, to harmony and adoration.