My dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today’s Liturgy and the Readings invite us to be faithful witnesses of Our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Gospel recalls how The Risen Christ encountering some of his disciples after his resurrection. The disciples were all gathered together on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It was in that encounter that Jesus asked Peter those three famous questions, questions that obviously recognized the triple denial of Peter during Christ’s suffering. Implicit in those questions, however, was the fact that Jesus had not given up on Peter. Jesus’ love and commitment to him were still there, even after all that had occurred. But Peter’s triple denial had to be acknowledged and faced. Jesus faces it with loving forgiveness, all of which allows Peter to forgive himself. There is a wonderful freedom that flows from forgiveness.
In the Second Reading John had a vision of many angels and all the living creatures of the world gathered around a throne.
In the First Reading The high priest chastised Peter and the other apostles for continuing to preach when they had been ordered to stop. Peter replied he would rather obey God than men, considering God’s power even over death. They are again warned to stop speaking of Jesus, and then freed. We will continue to read from The Acts of the Apostles how the Apostles fearlessly preached Christ and finally shed their blood and died for Christ. In following Christ and his teachings we too encounter oppositions and difficulties. But we should not get discouraged. We should pray for the grace. We are fed, we are nourished by Word and Sacrament, by both the Scriptures and the Holy Eucharist. We should never make the mistake of denying Christ or failing to accept the nourishment He offers us through prayers and the Sacraments.
Let us sincerely pray for the grace so that we are able to follow the example of the faith of the Apostles and the martyrs and remain the faithful and grateful witnesses of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.