The tragedy of Calvary: or the minute details of Christ's life from Palm Sunday morning till the resurrection and ascension taken from prophecy, history, revelations and ancient writings by Meagher, Jas. L. (James Luke), 1848-1920
Still the Apostles were not certain of the resurrection. Money was running low and Peter thought they had better go a fishing. James and John, his brother Simon, Thomas, Nathaniel, Philip and Andrew went with him. The Holy Spirit had not come, they did not know their vocation, they could not understand it all, and they started out in their boat in the evening, fished all night and caught nothing. At early dawn, they saw a lone figure on the shore whom they did not recognise, who asked them, " Children, have you any meat ?' They answered him, No. He saith to them, 'Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and you shall find.' They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. That disciple therefore whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ' It is the Lord.' " (John xxi. 5-7.)
They drew the net, with its 153 fishes, to the land, where Jesus had prepared a fire on which a fish was roasting. Near by was bread, and there in silence they took their breakfast, Jesus presiding. The meal over, Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, using a word St. John gives, neaning a low sensual love. Peter replied with a word signifying the highest kind of love, " Feed my Lambs Folds," said the Lord. Again he asked him with the very same words, the same reply, and the Lord re plied, " Govern my Lamb Folds." For the third time the Lord asked him using the word Peter had twice replied, " Lovest thou me ?" using not agapas, as before, but phileis me, " lovest thou me ? " to which Peter replied, " Lord, thou knowest that I love thee," and Jesus replied, " Feed my Sheepfolds."
In all revelation there is not such a play of words, such a three-times repeated commission, such forceable expressions. Language could not be made stronger. It gives Peter complete authority, full jurisdiction, universal power over all his Lamb Folds, the other churches, over all his sheepfolds, the other dioceses. The English translation does not give the full force of St. John's Greek, who listening gives what he heard that morning. Some writers think it was to restore him to full companionship with the others after his triple denial, that the Lord said to him, " Feed my lambs, Feed my sheep/' But this is not the full force of the Lord's words, who said, " Feed my Lambs Folds. Govern my Lamb Folds. Feed my Sheepfolds." By these words he gave him full authority over all his churches. There was the Church organization completed, its crown of universal jurisdiction laid on Peter, such as all history and writers of the early ages, the Fathers and the Saints announce.
The seventy-two disciples he had ordained priests, they were to be the heads of the parishes. The twelve Apostles he had consecrated bishops, they were to rule dioceses; to Peter he had given authority over all the others, he was to be the central government. Thus he founded his Church as any other man would have founded an organization. For who ever attempted to organize any human institution without a head, a ruler, a central government ? Not even three men can work together unless one is placed over them. A thousand times more necessary is a head over a vast complex organism, the government of a great Church formed of millions of people composed of all the races and nations under the sun.