20160410 - Third Sunday of Easter

posted Apr 5, 2016, 7:17 AM by Domain Admin   [ updated Sep 9, 2016, 9:37 PM ]

Gospel of John 21:1-19

Alfred's Reflection

Jesus asked: “Do you love me?”

Jesus asked Peter that question three times to parallel the three times that Peter denied knowing Jesus before Jesus was crucified. Jesus didn’t doubt Peter’s love. Jesus asked the question three times as a form of forgiving, healing, and penance.

As we prepare for our last class before the Confirmation Ceremony, I imagine that Jesus is asking each one of us that very same question: “Do you love me?”

In the Gospel, it was not enough for Peter to just to say: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus passed his mission to Peter by telling him to: “Feed my lambs.” “Tend my sheep.” “Feed my sheep.” In the past, I missed the significance of Jesus passing his mission on to Peter. It’s important for Peter and the other disciples to take on that challenge to build the church that we are a part of 2000 years later.

For us today, we cannot just hit a like button on Peter’s “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you” comment and think we are done. There is a reason that we’ve had 13 class meetings plus the retreat: we had to learn what it’s like to be a member of our Catholic church. There’s a reason why three of those class meetings were with sponsors or parents: we support each other in our church community. There’s a reason why we went to St. Anthony’s and Fairyland for our service projects: if we really love Jesus, we will get out of our homes, our church buildings, our comfort zones and touch the lives of others in this world. We wanted to prepare you for the real world of being a practicing Catholic, full of faith and mercy and holiness.

A lot of us are like Peter. We love Jesus and want to prove it. But shrink away when it’s hard to do what we are supposed to do or when it is inconvenient or when we have other things we want to spend our time and money on. Jesus could have given up on Peter for punking out on Good Friday.

If Jesus asks us today, “Do you love me?”, our response in words should be, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Will we take the next step and respond with actions by accepting the mission that Jesus gives us to be an active member of our church community and everything it means to be his follower?