YEAR C: HOMILY FOR THE 3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER
HOMILY THEME: DO YOU TRULY LOVE HIM?
BY: Fr. Clem C. Aladi.
HOMILY: GOSPEL: JOHN 21:1-19
My dearest brothers and sisters welcome to the table of God’s word on this third Sunday of Easter. May the risen Lord who searches for us to draw us closer to himself and restore us to His friendship, fill us with peace and love.
The readings of today’s especially the gospel remind us that God does not stop searching for us or loving us because we have denied or sinned against Him, but He takes the initiative of restoring the broken friendship with Him by offering us another opportunity to make amends, to love and to enter into a deeper and more committed friendship with Him.
Our duty is to reaffirm our love for Him and wholeheartedly carry out the responsibility that love entails.
In the first reading, the Apostles were arraigned before the Sanhedrin for preaching the resurrected Lord and spreading the news of His resurrection throughout Jerusalem in spite of warning from religious leaders to refrain from doing so. I was particularly touched by their courage to speak the truth declaring: ” we must obey God rather than men” and their joy for having been found worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake of Christ. Dear child of God, would you be happy to suffer dishonour for the sake of Christ ?
This Apostolic conviction to speak the truth and accept dishonour for Christ’s sake is what we all must be ready to embrace if we should be worthy of the name Christians. We are often guilty of indifference and silence just because we value our honour and prestige more than the obligation to preserve and speak the truth. May God fill us with apostolic zeal and courage to stand for Him and declare Him in the presence of those who are enemies of the truth.
The second reading, taken from Revelation (the Apocalypse), presents John’s vision of the Risen Lord as the glorified “Lamb of God,” enthroned in Heaven. The whole of Revelation is an expression of Christian hope in the Risen Lord
Gospel tells the post-resurrection story of our merciful Savior Who goes in search of His band of disappointed and dejected disciples. The incident proves that Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances were not mere hallucinations. In the first part of today’s Gospel, the risen Jesus appears to His disciples and gives them a symbol of their mission in a miraculous catch of fish followed by a grilled fish breakfast prepared by Jesus himself. The second part is a dialogue between Jesus and Simon where Simon is asked three times whether he loves Jesus, and he answers that he does, as if in reparation for his triple denial of Jesus. The two metaphors used in the story, namely fishing and shepherding, are the duties of the Church in her missionary work. Peter, as a forgiven sinner, is chosen for the quality of his love to serve as a leader in a community of brothers and sisters. As his primary mission, Peter is given the care of the vulnerable lambs and sheep, and he is told that fidelity to this mission will lead him to martyrdom.
My dearest, we all betray Christ by our weakness and fallen nature but it does not matter how many times you have betray Him. Peter denied Him three times and was offered three new opportunities to reaffirm his commitment. This is the same way God comes to each of us daily calling on us to reaffirm our commitment and love for Him, but we ignore Him most of the time?. He restored Peter’s dignity and placed a responsibility on his shoulders to shepherd his flock. We too are entrusted with this responsibility of caring for others especially those entrusted to our care.
Don’t forget that the risen Lord is always with us in every difficulty and challenges of life. He is always ready to see us through when we recommit our lives to Him. Like the Apostles who made a miraculous catch, so shall we experience miracles in our lives when we draw closer to the risen Christ and love Him with our hearts. The Risen Lord is present in our Christian worship: He is present on our altars during the Holy Mass to share His life with us; He is present in the words of Holy Scripture; He is there in the Sacraments and He is there where two or three are gathered in his name (Matthew 18: 20)
Let’s us recommit and open up our selves to God so that He can use us as instruments in caring for His suffering, sick, abandoned and vulnerable children.
Prayer : Lord, You do know that I love You. You also know how weak I am. Let me hear Your invitation to express my love for You and my desire for Your mercy. May I offer this love and desire to the fullest extent. Jesus, I trust in You.
I keep you and your family always in my prayers.
Fr. Clem C. Aladi.