April 14, 2013: Third Sunday of Easter
Catholic Social Teaching: Rights and Responsibilities
“The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met…” Themes from Catholic Social Teaching, USCCB
First Reading: Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41
Psalm: 30: 2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13
Second Reading: Revelation: 5:11-14
Gospel: John 21:1-19
Catechism of the Catholic Church
“The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known…” (2472) From the Roman Missal’s introduction to the Third Sunday of Easter, Cycle C
In the moments of our lives, Jesus reveals himself again and again. Sometimes the encounter comes in the solitude of prayer. Other times, when the community goes “fishing” and bobs along in the boat of life facing challenges etched with discouragement, Jesus is present with hope. Jesus tenderly call us “children”. Posing a question graced with compassion for our needs, he encourages us to cast our nets in a new direction. Realizing the Lord’s miracles of abundance, Peter jumped into the sea in a prefigurement of baptismal water cleansing a spirit of denial. Will we take the plunge into the sea of life, instead of sheltering ourselves in the limits of our own reality bound in fear? Once Peter was fed, Jesus offered him the invitation to move beyond a threefold denial to acknowledge agape and love as a friend that translates into feeding and tending to one another— not just through material needs, but as a witness to Jesus’ spiritual reality. Jesus asks each of us, if we truly love him and realize he has changed our mourning into participating in the spiritual dance, to get out of our boats and put our feet on the shore to feed and be fed by one another. As Jesus empowered Peter to serve with humility by feeding and tending to the needs of others, our love for Jesus motivates us to leave the comfort of a beach BBQ to serve from the love that resonates from our hearts. This is a process that can be undertaken in “153” different ways. A multitude of options presents not a quandary, as we have been given the Holy Spirit, so we don’t despair or dismiss being a witness for justice in words and deeds, as we hear Jesus say, “Follow me.”
Individual Reflection: John 21:1-19
Teach people how to “fish” by sharing your life and job skills at a youth community center, job training program or homeless shelter.
Family Reflection: John 21:1-19
Place a basket and small pieces of paper on a table in the living room. During the week have family members write a brief description of how Jesus reveals himself to them — in prayer, helping another person, the Eucharist, the courage to speak out for justice. At the end of the week, discuss the abundance of Jesus’ grace and compassion and how that gives you the strength to feed and tend to the needs of others. Also discuss how you avail yourself to be fed by others.
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born April 2, 2013 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concerns