There is a topic on another forum where Roman Catholics are arguing that St Peter's triple affirmation in the Gospel of St John chapter 21 has nothing to do with his triple denial. The RC argument makes the claim that this passage only affirms the supremacy of St Peter and hence his successors.
I would like to hear the Orthodox understanding of this.
Saint John Chrysostom speaks of the triple "Do you love me?" as balancing and cancelling Saint Peter's triple denial in the courtayrd. Look for his commentary on John 21. It's bound to be on the Net on CCEL.
The triple "Do you love me?" was actually a moment of shame for Peter and that is why he does not rush in in his usual enthusiastic way and answer "Yes, Lord, I love you more than these." Instead he replies with a much more subdued, and even kind of plaintive, "Lord, you know that I love you."
Why? Because our Lord is reminding him that at the last supper Peter vainly boasted that he loved Him more than the other Apostles
- and yet a few hours later his boast was proven to be empty and he committed an an act of betrayal in the courtyard of the High Priest.
Our Lord's triple question, "Do you love me?" is His compassionate way of cancelling the triple betrayal of Peter at the time of His trial and allowing Peter to redeem himself. It was His way of restoring Peter to the office of an Apostle, and I imagine that is why it took place in front of the Apostles so that they were aware of Peter's restoration.