Friday, April 16, 2010

Reflection for Sunday April 18th

"Come Follow Me" 3rd Sunday of Easter Season 2010
A Reflection on readings from  Acts 5:27-41;  Psalm 29:2,4-6,11-13; Apocalypse 5:11-14; John 21:1-19
 By Rev. Fr. Bob Johnnene OFD, Mission Sts. Sergius & Bacchus/ Franciscans of Divine Mercy
"In reply Peter and the apostles said, 'Obedience to God comes before obedience to men; it was the God of our ancestors who raised up Jesus, but it was you who had him executed by hanging on a tree. By his own right hand, God has now raised him up to be leader and savior, to give repentance and forgiveness of sins through him to Israel. We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him".'
These words from the first reading for this Sunday explain clearly the glorious event that God allowed in order for every human being who professes the love of God to attain everlasting life with God and forgiveness of our sins.
The second reading from the book of revelations that is usually called the Apocalypse gives the reason that we need to give God honor, glory and praise.
"The Lamb that was sacrificed (Jesus Christ) is worthy to be given power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing.' Then I heard all the living things in creation – everything that lives in the air, and on the ground, and under the ground, and in the sea, crying, 'To the One who is sitting on the throne and to the Lamb, be all praise, honor, glory and power, for ever and ever.' And the four animals said, 'Amen'; and the elders prostrated themselves to worship."
In the vision of Saint John, who is called the beloved apostle, all of heaven and earth even the animals bow down in reverence to Almighty God.
So often in life we spend more time complaining about things than recognizing the good things that God has given us.
The gospel story tells us how Christ appeared for the third time and it is here that Christ gave the Apostles and all the priests who were to follow through the ages the way they should fulfill their vows as servants of God. Christ asked Peter;  "Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?' He answered, 'Yes Lord, you know I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my lambs.
.' A second time he said to him… do you love me?' He replied, 'Yes, Lord… Jesus said to him, 'Look after my sheep.' Then he said to him a third time….do you love me?' Peter was upset that he asked him the third time, 'Do you love me?' and said, 'Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep." I tell you most solemnly, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go".
How often as we grow old o we find we have to rely on others to go where we desire and often we are forced to go where we would rather not be but again it is a lesson in humility and accepting God's will.
The illnesses we have to deal with are a means for us to offer them up to God as our offering to him and for us to partake in the sufferings Christ endured for us.  The Gospel reading ends with the words "Follow me."
If we are to really follow Christ and be his servants here on earth, we need to look after every individual on the face of the earth as well as all of God's creation. If we actually live in accord with the teaching of Christ to "LOOK AFTER MY SHEEP, FEED MY SHEEP" we would never allow any person to be abused, go hungry, suffer illness needlessly because they could not afford proper medical care or become homeless.
To follow in the footsteps of Christ means to denounce war and homelessness, to give all we encounter the kind of love Christ showed when he walked the earth and the kind of love God has for us to have sent his only son to earth only to suffer for our sake in order that we could have forgiveness of our sins and everlasting live.
To show God how much we really love Him and desire to follow the teachings of Christ we need to reject the materialistic world of today where fame, power and wealth are considered signs of success and instead we need to begin to show compassion and good will toward all we encounter.
We need to speak out against injustice wherever we see it even if it is found in the highest levels of our government, churches or nation. Christ admonished the moneychangers in the temple and the hierarchy of the Jewish faith and suffered willingly for it. Recently the clergy who spoken out against the abuses in churches have suffered rejection and censure for speaking out but by their doing so they have followed Christ faithfully and are truly "Looking after His sheep".
Pray for all those who have heard the call to follow Christ that they will be worthy of God's calling them and care for Christ's sheep as Christ would care for them.  AMEN
Divine Mercy

No comments:

Post a Comment