Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sunday word, 10 Apr 16

Staying Visible
Third Sunday of Easter C (10 Apr 2016)
Homily of Fr. Paul Panaretos, S.J.
Simon Peter and the beloved disciple are main characters in the second half of the Fourth Gospel. After they ran to the empty tomb and looked inside they did not understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead. Then they went home.1 That phrase left me empty: they went home. What did they do after that? Mary of Magdala then Thomas took center stage. Simon Peter and the beloved disciple don’t appear by name until the last chapter.

If they disappeared to their homes, and that was that, I would feel let down by the Fourth Gospel. But they do reappear. Not only that! They at last recognize risen Jesus. First, the beloved disciple: it is the Lord! he cried out while in a boat with Peter. Then Peter hurriedly swam ashore to be with risen Jesus.

The scene on the shore lets Peter put behind him his triple denial of Jesus on Good Friday. Risen Jesus helped him by asking Peter to reaffirm his love for Jesus. Jesus broadened Peter’s love: his faithful friendship would remain true—and indeed flower—when Peter included others in it: Feed my lambs and sheep.

Nourishing faith is the goal of the Fourth Gospel: that each person may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing…have life in his name.2 Living faith, faith in action is how we Christians are most visible in our world. When we do not live our faith we may as well return home—or worse disappear. The world is not better off when we make that choice.

In your daily 15 minutes with Jesus this week
  • Rest in our triune God.
  • Ask Simon Peter and the beloved disciple to present you to Jesus.
  • Chat with him: Praise him for dying and rising for you; thank him for how he gives you life and nourishes you with his risen life.
  • Ask Jesus for grace to continue to put your faith in him in action.
  • Close saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. It is our roadmap both to welcome Jesus’ risen life and to share it with others and deepen their belief.

Link to this homily’s Spiritual Exercise
  1. John 20.9-10.
  2. John 20.31.

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