01 May 2022 – 3rd Sunday of Easter (Year C)

by Fr Joachim Robert

Acts 5:27-32,40-41
Psalm 29:2,4-6,11-13
Apocalypse 5:11-14
John 21:1-19

Theme: Call to be Witnesses of Jesus Christ

Dear friends,

On this 3rd Sunday of Easter, we are called to ponder on this story, on the account of the Gospel. And as we step in to the Gospel, we are reminded to embrace the mission to feed the lamb which has been entrusted to us, the lamb which God loves. And it gives us this opportunity to allow us to embrace the capacity we have experienced from God and to be sent out as witnesses of the Gospel, witnesses of the resurrection everywhere we go. Because those experiences that we have encountered together with God, dear friends, are not dead. They are experiences that makes us become who we are and because of the experiences that we have with God, we are able to move forward, bearing witness to the resurrection.

And as we look at the Gospel today, Jesus invites them to go back to their call story, go back to the time where they were in Galilee, where they were called. And as they were called, they recount the story of how Jesus was together with them, working miracles, wonders, healings, and gradually make them grow in their faith. But when crisis hit, dear friends, whenever Jesus was dead, they shattered. They lost all sense of hope and they went back doing their own things.

As we look at the Gospel again, all the disciples went back to their fishing nets, the fishing net that they left in order to follow Jesus. They went back to where it all started.

And very often, dear friends, in our situations of life, whenever we have experienced the love and mercy of God in our lives, and whenever crisis hit, we lose or we forget all the experiences that God has given to us and we go back to that net and with that net whenever we cast them out, we catch nothing. Because whenever we wallow in our self-pity, whenever we allow ourselves to be emptied of the experience that God has given to us, then we would catch nothing.

But at the invitation of Jesus, the disciples paid their nets to starboard and with His command, with His accompaniment, they were able to catch such a huge amount of fish. And those experiences, dear friends, that we go through in our own journey of life, acknowledging the moments of our resurrection, we must be reminded that those experiences, those dark moments of our lives, our moments of rejection, our moments of suffering, disappointment, betrayal, becomes an opportunity where the light of Christ comes into those moments and leads us forward. And we must be grateful to those experiences of life because those are moments of resurrection that the Lord invites us to move forward, confident in the hope that He will journey together with us.

But sometimes we allow ourselves to be weighed down by those suffering, those disappointments and we allow our hearts to be hardened. And these experiences, dear friends, can come from our families, can come from the people whom we love and we close ourselves from those experiences, not allowing the Lord to work His miracles. And we continue to pay out our nets on our own, catching nothing.

So today’s account of the resurrection, as the Gospel says this is the third account of the resurrection, each time the Lord reveals Himself or appears to the disciples, He wants to edify faith, edify the apostles’ faith. And in your own lives too, dear friends, just like the apostles, the Lord has come to edify your faith by His moments of appearances of the resurrection. But do we take account of those experiences and do we fill our hearts with gratitude which the light of Christ has illumined for us?

Very often the situations like the disciples in today’s Gospel, was not a perfect situation. It was a situation that was chaotic, but the Lord chose to appear to them in their chaotic situation and make the imperfect situation perfect for them.

In the same way, dear friends, the Lord is inviting us to do the same. And whenever we are allowed to have that experience of God, and whenever Jesus asks us:-

“Do you love me?”, “Do you love me?”, “Do you love me?”

it is an invitation for us to say “Yes” and to move confident with Him in our journey of life. Even though our lives may be broken, even though our lives may be shattered, the Lord comes to bring healing and allow the light of Christ to shine.

As we look at our own journey, dear friends, a journey that we take together with God, God has blessed us with so many moments of resurrection, just like the disciples. But sometimes we forget. We forget to enrich our lives from those experiences and we wallow in our self-pity.

So today, today let us ask the Lord. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to show our love for Him. And if we show our love for Him in responding to the invitation that He has given to us,

He says the first time, “Feed my lamb.”
Second, says “Look after my sheep.”
The third time, He says, “Feed my sheep.”

As we give ourselves, dear friends, enriched with those experiences of life, we must remember that those feeding must come from our witness of life, our witness of faith. And as we feed others by the way God has fed us, we are called to bear witness and become proclaimers of God’s word and the proclaimers of the resurrection.

So today as we enter into this Eucharistic celebration, recounting our own call stories, recounting our own journey of life, we remember the Lord continues to allow the light of Christ to shine more and more brightly in our witness of faith and let us not be discouraged. If we continue to show our love for God, God will always bless us because God cannot be outdone in generosity. And for the grace of being a witness and being a bold witness of Christ, we pray.

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