To the Risen Christ be all Power, Honor, And Glory
Readings: 1st: Acts 5, 27-32.40-41; Ps 29; 2nd: Heb 5, 11-14: Gos: Jn 21, 1-19
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico. He is the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canóvanas, and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was the chancellor of the Diocese of Fajardo Humacao, Puerto Rico. Fr. Canice is a member of the Academy of Homiletics. For more details and comments contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
On this third Sunday of Easter, we proclaim that the risen Christ is the Lord. Today, through the celebration of the Eucharist, we affirm that He is the sacrificed Lamb. Hence, He is worthy to be given all power, honor, and glory. Both the first and the second readings of today bear great testimonies to the awesomeness of Christ.
In the first reading, led by Peter, the apostles continued to bear testimony to the risen Christ. Not even the Jews who they were previously afraid of could stop them. Fear now belongs to the past. So, Peter boldly said to the High Priest: “We are witnesses to all this, we and the Holy Spirit.” Despite all the humiliations and threats to their lives, Peter insisted: “Obedience to God comes first before obedience to men.” They are now confident that they will overcome death as Christ did. Their resoluteness reminds us that obedience to God manifests itself in faithfulness to our vocations and our witness for Christ.
In today’s gospel, Jesus appeared to his apostles for the third time. This time it was in the place of their “fishing business.” What frustrated and embarrassed men they were! Despite their fishing experience and skills, they could not catch any fish. This is because they abandoned their actual business and mission. They acted contrary to Christ’s mission statement for them: “From today you will no longer catch fishes, I will make you fishers of men” (Mt 4, 9). They were supposed to be taking care of the Lord’s business and not theirs.
Also, today Christ asked Peter thrice: “Simon son of John, do you love me? Feed my lambs. Look after my sheep.” Christ needed to be assured of Peter’s commitment to lead his flock. This also showed the magnitude of the mission that Christ was to entrust to Peter. It was a way of reminding us that: “To whom much is given, much is expected.” Hence, Christ reminds us that our vocation is essential. He also reminds us that we must be ready to accept every kind of humiliation for the good news as his disciples.
There are many other lessons to learn today. At times, we abandon our vocations for other “more interesting things or places.” Unfortunately, instead of progressing, we become frustrated like Peter and his companions. So, we fail most times because we are in the wrong place or doing the right thing at the wrong time. Whenever we abandon the will of God and our vocation, we may labor in vain “all night long.” Also, when we depend solely on our human instinct or senses rather than on the spirit of God, success might elude us. So, we must not always forget these words of Christ, “Apart or separated from me, you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5)
Finally, as Christ revealed himself to his disciples through the sacrifice of bread and wine, every day, He continues to show Himself to us through the Holy Eucharist and ordinary things of life. Therefore, at Mass, simple things like bread and wine help us to discover the presence of the Lord among us. This is, despite our infidelity and weakness. Through the Eucharist, Christ strengthens our faith. He also reminds us of our mission and who we ought to be. May all power, honor, glory, and praise be to the Risen Christ forever and forever. Amen.
Peace be with you.