When during my ordination I got up to my knees again after lying face down on the floor of St. Peter’s Basilica, from my angle as I looked up at the Successor of Peter before the main altar I could see over his head the inscription high above in huge mosaic letters: “Domine, tu omnia nosti: tu scis, quia amo te. Dixit ei: Pasce oves meas.” The dialogue wraps around part of the basilica.
Ever after, when that dialogue comes up in the readings of Mass, it chokes me up a little.
It came up today in the Extraordinary Form’s Mass for the Vigil of Sts. Peter and Paul:
At that time, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these do? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My lambs. He said to him a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My lambs. A third time He said to him, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? Peter was grieved because He said to him for the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were young you girded yourself and walked where you would. But when you are old you will stretch forth your hands, and another will gird you, and lead you where you would not. Now this He said to signify by what manner of death he should glorify God.