Sunday, April 10, 2016

Acts 5:27-32, 40-41, Revelations 5:11-14, Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13, John 21:1-19


Acts 5:27-32, 40-41, Revelations 5:11-14, Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13, John 21:1-19

Acts 5:27-32, 40-41
My soul’s beloved, today we read that the apostles went out from the Council rejoicing that they were considered worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of the Name. I on the other hand am often a coward. I say one thing but quite often do another for fear of being ridiculed or a host of other equally cowardly reasons. In these verses we are given a snapshot of how those who believe in You ought to respond in times of persecution.

You have said very clearly that the servant is not greater than the Master and if they treated You who are God with disrespect, hounded You, persecuted You, and in the end fabricated charges against You and finally killed You we who follow You can expect no less and yet many of us flee at the first sign of opposition. We are easily intimidated and silenced. Yet there are still many more who face discrimination everywhere because of their faith, they are persecuted, they languish in prison for years are tortured and many lose their lives because they refuse to give up their faith in You. We are living in times when we will be asked whether we are for You or against You when that time comes My Lord, grant us the grace to remain steadfast in faith because of the hope we have in You.

Revelations 5:11-14

My soul’s beloved, the Father sent You into the world in order to reconcile it to Him once again. You were obedient even unto death and You have been raised and given a Name that is above every other so that at Your Name every knee in heaven and on earth and in the underworld will bow and proclaim that You are Lord to the glory of God the Father.

You are seated upon the throne ad before You angels are prostrate, and all who are in heaven proclaim without ceasing that You are worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, glory and praise forever and ever. Because You became the Lamb of Sacrifice who takes away the sins of the world. Thank You for opening the gates of heaven so all who believe may enter into the joy of everlasting life.

Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
My soul’s beloved, You have turned my mourning into rejoicing, You have taken off my sackcloth and wrapped me in the garments of gladness. You took away the burden of my sin, You did not treat me as I deserved but showed me loving kindness. You wiped away my tears and put a song of praise in my heart. I deserved death because I was a sinner but You came in search of me. I was lost and You sought me. You did not permit me to be lost to God forever instead You took upon Yourself the punishment that was mine and gave me a share of Your life. How can I thank You enough for all You have done for me and continue to do! Grant me this grace my Lord, that my soul is never silent and whether I am asleep or awake it will sing Your praise without ceasing.

John 21:1-19

My soul’s beloved, what You said to Peter You say to us, “Follow Me.” One simple command is given to all of us who believe. “Follow Me.” How closely or how distantly, how perfectly or imperfectly we do it is up to each of us. Grace is made available to all. We have all heard the Good News, we are baptized and grafted into Your Body and we have had the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts. We all believe in the same Savior and yet our response is as different as there are believers.

Peter is despondent and restless. The man of action cannot stay still and so he announces that he want to go fishing the others join him. They fish all night but catch nothing. It is now dawn, the night sky is beginning to pale and the light of day is slowly brightening the sky. You are on the shore and You call out to the disciples to throw their nets to the right. They had labored all night and caught nothings but at Your Word, they listened, obeyed and were rewarded. If we labor without You my Lord we too will catch nothing, however, if we listen to You we will be fruitful.

Strangely Lord it was not Peter but John who recognized You. The moment he noticed the great catch he discerned that it was You on the shore and joyfully proclaimed, “It’s the Lord!” As soon as the impetuous Peter realized it was You he jumped into the water while the rest followed with the catch. John was young and childlike in his response to Your love. He leaned on You with the confidence of a child.

You had breakfast ready for them on the shore – fish and bread and you asked them to get some more of the fish they had just caught and they shared a simple, satisfying meal. You always supply our needs. You give us enough to satisfy. Then You put the triple question to Peter, “Do you love Me.” At the end the heartbroken Peter recollecting his bitter threefold denial said humbly, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love you.” Only God knows everything and Peter proclaimed that You are God. Despite the fact that Peter failed You chose him to head the Church You founded. He is Your choice. He is the visible head of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Thank You my soul’s beloved that I am born into this Church through Baptism.

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