Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
April 18 A..D. 2010
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41
Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13
John 21:1-19 or 21:1-14
A reflection on today's Scripture:
The weeks following Easter narrate events that are as exciting for us who read them now several thousand years later as they must have been to contemporary witnesses then. Peter figures prominently in today's Scriptures. He has gone back to his original occupation of fishing.
Six others, including John, have accompanied him. As they sit in the dark through the long night, nothing much is happening. Then, as the dawn breaks, they hear a voice across the waters calling to them: "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" As they reply "No," the voice suggests to them that they try the right side. As the nets strain from the huge haul, John is the first to recognize the Lord's voice.
As usual, impulsive Peter immediately jumps into the water and swims to shore. There he finds a charcoal fire with bread freshly prepared. As they gather in amazement and joy, they broil some fish and eat breakfast with Jesus. The Master breaks the silence with a quiet question, "Peter, do you love me more than these?"
Eager to be reinstated in Jesus' good graces, Peter instantly affirms that he does. As Jesus asks him twice more, and Peter humbly reaffirms his love, the others hear Jesus' thrice-stated command to Peter, "Feed my lambs; feed my sheep." Thus has the Lord forgiven Peter his denials, but has also singled him out to head the infant Church.
The primacy of authority that Jesus bestows on Peter at the seashore is amply demonstrated by Peter's amazing eloquence in preaching and his firm leadership of the early community following the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Our first reading today shows the outrage and swift reaction of the Jewish Sanhedrin to the spread of Christianity.
Strong and often vicious opposition to the gentle power of love has been repeated over and over again through the ages, even to our own times. Whenever the real Truth of Jesus' teaching challenges our pleasure-seeking culture with all of its unjust exploitation of the weak and defenseless, prison doors close on those who pose a danger to the status quo.
Unfortunately, some of those divinely ordained to lead and inspire have betrayed their trust through human weakness and sin. We need to pray earnestly that the Church leadership will respond with real compassion for the victims of abuse of power, especially children. Christ promised us that He is with His Church, even to the end of time. May the earnest prayers of the faithful, and the guidance of Holy Spirit, give wisdom to Pope Benedict XVI, the successor to St. Peter, to respond in truth, justice, and humility.
~ Msgr. Paul Whitmore | email: email@example.com
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Third Sunday of Easter
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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