May 5, 2019

3rd Sunday of Easter

May 5, 2019:  Third Sunday of Easter

See 19 connections with today?
(not counting three I forgot to put on)
Legend below


For the gospel
For Psalm 30
Pope Francis in Bulgaria

Homily:  Jesus' appearance at the Sea of Tiberias reminds us that God calls, surprises, and loves:

God calls:  On the Galilee shore Jesus first called Peter.   But now, burdened with pain, guilt, and suffering, disappointment, and betrayal, Peter and several disciples were going back to their former life of fishing.  The Lord is aware of the temptation to be disheartened and give up.  This is the tomb psychology leads us to indulge in self-pity that eats away at our hope, wears down our faith, and makes us think everything is normal.  At this moment of Peter’s failure, Jesus appears, starts over, and comes to him.  The Lord expects people will have problems, disappointments, sins, and limitations.  He confronted sin and disappointment to encourage us to persevere.  In Jesus, God offers us another chance.  When his call directs us, we grow young.

God surprises:  The Lord of surprises invites us to be surprised and to do surprising things.  The Lord told them to do something odd:  fish by day.  He revived their trust by urging them to take a risk, to not give up.  He breaks down barriers by filling us with the courage needed to overcome suspicion, mistrust, and fear.

God loves because his language is love.  Just as he asked Peter, he asks us to learn this language.  Peter understood that love means making Jesus, not yourself, starting point and center.  Being a Christian is a summons to realize God’s love is greater than our shortcomings and sins.  God is love that loves, bestows itself, calls, and surprises.  In casting their nets on the boat's right side, we see the miracle of God, who, if we let his love lead us, makes our lives works of art.  We're called to walk with him, knowing that even if we fail, he'll keep telling us to cast our nets.  A Church young in spirit invites us to testify to Christ's love by striving for the common good.  This love enables us to serve the poor, become protagonists of the revolution of charity and service, and resist consumerism and individualism.  Don't be afraid of becoming saints; it won't take away your energy, vitality or joy.

To Orthodox Church leaders:  Thomas put his hand in the Lord’s side and touched his wounds.  The wounds opened in Christian history bruise the Body of Christ, the Church, and have tangible effects today, but perhaps together we can recognize our failings, immerse ourselves in his wounds of love, and discover the joy of forgiveness

Ecumenism of blood:  Many Christians in Bulgaria endured suffering for Jesus' name, particularly during the persecution of the last century.  Those who suffered are witnesses of Easter.  Those who suffer for their faith ask us to open ourselves; it's the only way the seeds they've sown can bear fruit.

Ecumenism of the poor:  Bulgarian delegations have visited the Vatican annually for the past 50 years.  With God's help, and in his time, these contacts will have a positive effect.  Meanwhile, we're called to journey and act together to bear witness to the Lord, particularly by serving the poor and neglected, in whom he's present.

Ecumenism of mission:  Our guides are SS. Cyril and Methodius, who were daring enough to translate the Bible into a language accessible to Slavic peoples, so that God's Word could precede human words.  They're a model of evangelization, a challenge to proclaim the Gospel.  While respecting our traditions and distinctive identities, we need to help each find ways to pass the faith onto the young, lest they risk trusting in the deceitful siren songs of consumerist society.

Ecumenism of example:  Cyril and Methodius promoted a united Europe and show the basis for living together, respecting differences, which don't obstruct unity.

  • Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41  The high priest questioned the Apostles:  “We ordered you to stop teaching in that name, but you've taught all Jerusalem.” / “We must obey God.  You had Jesus killed, but God raised him and exalted him as leader and savior to forgive sins.  We're witnesses, as is the Holy Spirit.”  The Sanhedrin ordered them to stop and dismissed them.  They left, rejoicing that they'd been found worthy to suffer for Jesus' sake.
  • Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13  "I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me."  Praise and thank the Lord.  Lord, have pity on me; you changed my mourning to dancing.
  • Rev 5:11-14  I heard the countless angels surrounding the throne, the creatures, and the elders:  “Worthy is the Lamb slain to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing.”  Then I heard everything in the universe:  “Blessing and honor, glory and might to the one on the throne and to the Lamb forever!
  • Jn 21:1-19  At the Sea of Tiberias Thomas, Nathanael, Zebedee’s sons, and two other disciples went fishing with Simon Peter but caught nothing.  They didn't recognize Jesus on the shore saying, "Cast the net over the right side."  They did and caught a boatful of fish.  The disciple Jesus loved recognized him.  Jesus cooked breakfast for them all....
Jesus / Peter:  “Do you love me..?” / “You know I do.” / “Feed my lambs.”  “Do you love me?” / “You know I do.” / “Tend my sheep.”  “Do you love me?” / (distressed) “You know I do.” / “Feed my sheep....  When you grow old, and someone will lead you where you don't want to go....  Follow me.”
  • Greek words for love:  ἔρως (passionate, sensual eros), φιλία (philia, friendship, affection); ἀγάπη (selfless, sacrificial, unconditional agape)  In today's gospel, Jesus asked twice whether Peter agape-loved him, and Peter responded he philia-loved him; then he asked whether he philia-loved him, and he said yes.  Peter had professed his love before, then betrayed him; now he humbly offered philia (not agape) and Jesus accepted it.  Jesus encounters us where and how we are.
    The miracle of the catch of 153 fish/ Duccio
    [more art]
  • Creighton:  Peter, after Jesus washed his feet at the Last Supper, Jesus' arrest and trial, Peter's denials, Jesus' crucifixion, the apostles' fear, and Jesus' appearances, returns with his companions to the fisherman's life familiar to them but catches nothing; then a man on the shore tells them to drop their nets off the boat's right side, and their net fills.  He recognizes Jesus, swims to shore, and eats breakfast with him; then Jesus asks three times, “Do you love me?...  Then feed my lambs; look after sheep.”  Peter might have remembered an earlier miraculous catch of fish, when he said, "Leave me, Lord; I'm a sinner," and Jesus replied, “Don’t fear.”  Now he understood.  Jesus loved and forgave him.  “Follow me.”
  • One Bread, One Body:  "The 3rd degree":  Three times Jesus addressed Peter not using the name he gave him but "Simon," his original name, and asked "Do you love me?"  If Jesus asked you today to renew your baptismal promises, would he be convinced about your commitment?  Jesus described him as one who "went about as he pleased," but Simon Peter needed to allow himself to lose his life for Jesus.  Am I Jesus' disciple on my terms or his?
  •  "Do you love the Risen Lord more than all else?"  Do you run to the Lord when you meet setbacks, disappointments, and tests?  He's always ready to renew us and give us hope.  The first miraculous fish catch took place at the beginning of Jesus' ministry when the Lord called Peter to "catch people."  Jesus repeats this miracle to remind him he must continue his mission.  Skeptics say the disciples only saw a vision of Jesus, but the gospels vividly paint the risen Lord and recount proofs of his resurrection.  Peter's drawing near to the Lord and professions of love stand in contrast to his previous distancing and denials.  The Lord calls each of us to draw near to him....
Dress legend
  • 'Celebrate teaching' pin (oops; forgot)  "You've filled Jerusalem with your teaching..." (1st reading)
  • 'Blood drop' pin:  "...and want to bring this man's blood upon us" (1st reading)
  • '?' tie pin :-(forgot):  High priest questioned the apostles (1st reading)
  • 'Cross' and 'tree' pins:  "You had Jesus killed by hanging him on a tree" (1st reading)
  • 'Dove' pin:  The Spirit is a witness to these things (1st reading)
  • 'Musical notes with "joy"' pin :-(forgot):  The apostles rejoiced that they'd been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name (1st reading); sing praise to the Lord; with dawn, rejoicing (psalm)
  • 'Hands' pin:  God exalted him at his right hand (1st reading); "you'll stretch out your hands, and someone else will lead you" (gospel)
  • 'Clear' pin:  "Lord, you drew me clear" (psalm)
  • 'Angel' pin:  "I heard the voices of countless angels" (2nd reading)
  • 'Owl' pin:  "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive wisdom..." (2nd reading)
  • 'Lamb' tie bar:  "Blessing and honor... to the Lamb" (2nd reading); "feed my lambs" (gospel)
  • 'Boat' tie bar:  They went out and got into the boat (gospel)
  • 'Fishing pole' tie bar:  "I'm going fishing" (gospel)
  • 'Fishes' tie:  153 fish caught (gospel)
  • 'Fire' pin:  Charcoal fire with fish on it and bread (gospel)
  • 'Silverware' tie bar:  "Come, have breakfast" (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin:  Jesus gave them the bread (gospel)
  • 'Heart' pin:  "Lord, you know I love you" (gospel)
  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  "Tend my sheep" (gospel)
  • 'WWJD' pin:  "Follow me" (gospel)
  • White shirt and socks:  Easter season

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