Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13; Rev 5:11-14; John 21:1-14
I hope and pray that you were guided by the Holy Spirit to think about God’s mercy this past week after “Divine Mercy Sunday.” Jesus gave us this new channel of his love so we can have a better sense of how much he loves us and wants to flow through us to bless many people around us each day. We want to be more aware of those most in need of his awesome love. Please, join me in praying a chaplet each weekend for all those who will preach that weekend. Then we can earnestly pray for our country and conversion of the terrorists.
Now, returning to the scriptures this weekend. Remember that the New Testament was written many years after the resurrection of Jesus and the community of his earliest followers were set on fire with God, the Holy Spirit. The community first preached to and baptized thousands of Jews in and around Jerusalem. When many other Jews tried to stop the apostles preaching in Jesus’ Name, the apostles turned to evangelize the pagan world. Two thousand years later we are still here praising and worshiping God, continuing his healing all over the world. We are the oldest single institution continuing the original mission.
Acts of the Apostles is the history of the earliest community for about 15 years. The first part relates to the work and sermons of Peter. The latter part deals with the work and preaching of Paul. In the section today, the second account of Peter and John being put in prison for preaching about Jesus, they were released by an angel and sent out again to preach. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish high court, had ordered them not to preach in “that name.” The apostles responded that it was better to obey God than men. We must not be afraid to teach about Jesus and his wonderful and loving messages.
The gospel of John today gives us that story about several apostles who went fishing during the night on the Sea of Tiberias yet caught nothing. A “stranger on shore” asked if they had caught anything. No! Cast on the right. They had a great catch. As they realized it was Jesus, they came ashore and found some breakfast waiting for them.
After breakfast Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” This was in remembrance of the three times Peter had denied Jesus during his trial. Jesus told him to “Feed My lamb,” “Tend my sheep,” again “Feed my sheep.” Then Jesus said when Peter got older he would be lead to places he may not wish to go in taking care of the wider flock, the church. Many of us find God guiding us to interesting places to find “lost sheep.” And at times God brings those sheep across our path so we can take care of them, take care of their needs. Do not be afraid of how Jesus chooses to use us. There is much work to do, the world is desperately in need of our ministry for Christ. Pray, read the New Testament, receive more of the sacraments, listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding our day to bring his good news.
The Blood of Jesus over this. I shall be in Augusta, GA, for four days this coming week, meeting with other representatives of U.S., Canadian Charismatic prayer groups. I want to see what God is doing throughout our countries, how we can respond better. Please, say a little prayer for us.
Have a fruitful week,
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2016 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)