15 When therefore they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: Simon son of John, lovest thou me more than these? He saith to him: Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith to him: Feed my lambs.
Theophylact: The dinner being ended, He commits to Peter the superintendence over the sheep of the world, not to the others.
Augustine: He knew that Peter not only loved Him, but loved Him more than all the rest.
While our Lord was being condemned to death, he feared, and denied Him. But by His resurrection Christ implanted love in his heart, and drove away fear. Peter denied, because he feared to die: but when our Lord was risen from the dead, and by His death destroyed death, what should he fear? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. On this confession of his love, our Lord commends His sheep to him.
Chrysostom: That which most of all attracts the Divine love is care and love for our neighbor. Our Lord passing by the rest, addresses this command to Peter: he being the chief of the Apostles, the mouth of the disciples, and head of the college. Our Lord remembers no more his sin in denying Him, or brings that as a charge against him, but commits to him at once the superintendence over his brethren. If thou lovest Me, have rule over thy brethren, shew forth that love which thou hast evidenced throughout, and that life which thou saidst thou wouldest lay down for Me, lay down for the sheep.
Scripture from the Douay-Rheims Bible. Commentary from St. Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea, Vol. IV (London: Rivington, 1845).