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Third Sunday of Easter, Year C

3rd Sunday of Easter, Year C
Acts 5:27b-32, 40b-41
Revelation 5:11-14
John 21:1-19
April 14, 2013

The Apostles are now arrested and on trial.  They are zealously preaching the faith.  They had previously given orders to ‘stop teaching in that name.’

Those who have arrested them won’t even speak Jesus’ name (that name).  To the questioning Peter and the Apostles reply “we must obey God rather than men.”

They are going to keep on preaching.  They are bold enough now to condemn those who arrest them for having Jesus crucified.  They are not afraid.  In fact, they now find it an honor to suffer in Jesus’ name.

The Apostles have come a long way.  Just last week we heard how, after Jesus’ Crucifixion and the discovery that the tomb was empty, they were gathering in a locked room for ‘fear of the Jews.’

They have come a long way in a short time.

Even after Jesus appeared to them twice after his Resurrection, they still didn’t know what to do.  Simon Peter tells the other disciples that he is going fishing.  They go with him.

It might seem like they are giving up when times are tough.  We can give them some credit here.  Remember many of them, including Peter, were fishermen by trade.  They are not going up to have fun.  They might be going to make a living to provide for their family.  Perhaps they are still confused by all that has happened and just want to do something they can understand.

Whatever the reason for their fishing trip, they once again see the Risen Jesus but they don’t know it is him.  They have had no luck fishing.  A man appears on the shore and tells them to throw the net over the right side.

This would seem ridiculous to me.  They are professional fishermen.  Do you really think they won’t have tried that?

But they do it!  They don’t know it is Jesus but they are open to Jesus and listen to what he says.

What is the result?  They catch 153 fish.  What is the significance of 153?  Scholars have found that in that time there was a total 153 different types of fish identified.  So, 153 symbolized “all.”  All belong to God.  All are to be evangelized.

Alone they caught nothing.  With Jesus, they caught “all”.

Another way to look at it – when they come to the shore with the fish, Jesus already had fish cooking.  When we go in search of something we need, Jesus already has it.

Are we doing what Jesus asks of us or are we still behind locked doors?  Do we help other people or do we keep silent about our faith?

Sometimes we don’t know where to begin.  There seems to be too much to do, making it all seem impossible.  I think of all the things that come across my desk with ideas we could do.  I think that we can’t possibly do all these things.  That can be true.  The danger in thinking this is that it can lead us to do nothing.

As the annual priest/administrator convocation was ending this week, they were giving us an update about the Governor’s desire to expand abortion in New York.  This was not new information to me and I hope it isn’t new information to you.  There has been a brief article in the bulletin for the past few weeks about this and we have posters up talking promoting a prayer vigil in Albany on Monday.

As I listened, the thought did cross my mind that there are just too many things to do, how can we possibly do them all?

We don’t have to do them all.  We can prioritize, determine what we can do, what God is calling us to do and do it well.  In this case, the sanctity of life is a priority.

What are you doing?  Are you trying to do it all yourself?  Have you given up and do nothing?  Or have you set priorities and doing something?

Peter had denied Jesus three times.  Essentially, Peter said no to Jesus three times.  But seeing the Risen Jesus three times, Peter was given an opportunity to change his ways.

Jesus asks Peter “do you love me three times.”

Isn’t once enough?  Why three?

Peter denies Jesus three times.  He must accept three times.

Is saying I love you once ever enough?

Don’t we like to hear we are loved over and over?

The words “I love you” are powerful.  We should say them to the ones we do love.  We also need to live the words “I love you.”

Actions speak loud.  Look at the Crucifix.  Jesus’ Crucifixion ‘screams’ “I love you.”

How do we say “I love you” to Jesus? By living as He calls us as the way and the truth and the life.

 

 

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