Reflection/Homily: Third (3rd) Sunday of Easter Year C (April 14 2013)- brought to you by www.uwakwereflections.com
Theme: When Jesus Steps In
In the gospel reading (Jn. 21:1-19), we are presented with a post-resurrection incidence where Jesus revealed himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. In that scene, Peter had gone with some of the disciples to fish. Despite their expertise, they were unable to make a catch at the appropriate time.
At the inappropriate time, Jesus stepped in and stood on the shore unrecognized. He ordered them to cast their net over the right side of the boat and immediately they made a very large catch that they made extra efforts to pull the net out.
Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in the shoes of these disciples today. As such times, we make every required effort but do not succeed. Success seems to be very far from us. Some may have made every effort to pass an examination but still find themselves repeating that examination. Some have failed in their plans to get married and wedded after making every possible effort. Some have also failed after putting in so much efforts to be better in their spiritual lives, businesses, academics, careers, etc. and so have remained despondent.
Today’s gospel reading is a message of hope for you. It assures you of success no matter how much effort you have wasted and no matter how many times you have failed. This type of success is guaranteed if only you are humble enough to listen to Jesus and follow his directives. You may have failed either because you did not invite Jesus to your situation or because you could not listen to or trust him.
The disciples may have failed despite their expertise perhaps because Christ wanted to teach them that he is the only person that can grant success to the works of their hands. The miracle was also a great manifestation of his resurrection because they had known him before his death as a wonder worker who intervenes in the hopeless situations of his people and so continues after his resurrection.
How often have you trusted Jesus in your hopeless situation? How much do you rely on him for your success? Do you think you have all the potentials to be successful in life? Do you pray for success when you are going for an interview or embarking on a project? Success is a gift more than a reward for efforts made and only God can grant one this gift. That is why we need God to show us the right path to our desired success as he did to the disciples by telling them to cast their net over the right side of the boat.
One credential to attract Jesus to our ugly situations to turn our failures into success is a genuine love for God. After providing for the disciples, Jesus asked Peter to make a confession and commitment of his love for him. We may go into the exegetical implication of Christ’s question to Peter “Do you love me?” but our concern here is finding that question as being addressed to us. Do you love God? Do you love Jesus? What can you show to prove your love for God?
Peter affirmed his love for Jesus though he could not prove it at his crucifixion. But he was determined afterwards to prove it concretely.
That is why the first reading (Acts 5:27-32) tells us how Peter translated the love he confessed to Jesus to the love he professed before the Sanhedrin. In putting this love into courageous action when he spoke before them, Peter fearlessly emphasized his obedience to God rather than men. In that incidence, Jesus stepped in and Peter and his colleagues were released unhurt. The greatest manifestation of our love for God is courageous obedience to His Word even if it means going against certain ungodly civil laws like legalized abortion, same sex marriage, etc.