May 4, 2019

3rd Sunday of Easter

Cycles of Faith
3rd Sunday of Easter

"Simon Peter said to them, 'I am going fishing.'" Peter is a favorite apostle for many people. I wonder if it is because of his flawed, relatable humanity. Today's Gospel takes place after Jesus appears to the disciples and breathes the Holy Spirit upon them.

And yet, Peter finds himself returning to his old way of life, to comfortable habits he formed long before following Jesus. Is something still lingering in him? Is something still lingering in us? Lent is over, and we should be rejoicing! But do you feel like you're still holding onto something? Or perhaps you had an excellent Lent. You encountered Jesus in a new way and grew in faith. But as the weeks since Easter have slipped by, some of your newfound devotion has begun to waver. The closeness you felt in your Lenten commitments has given way to humdrum status quo or turn-of-the-season busyness.

"'Simon, son of John, do you love me?'" Peter has endured so much in his walk of discipleship! But something is still weighing on him. In today's Gospel, Jesus confirms Peter's devotion three times, a redemption of his earlier threefold denial. The call of the Lord must come again, as if heard anew for the first time. So often, this is the pattern of the Christian life. We discover God and experience a new desire for our faith, but in time, our enthusiasm begins to wane. Perhaps something happens that startles us, or we startle ourselves by a poor decision. Then we discover God anew! Our joy returns...for a while. Even the Apostles were no strangers to the cyclical nature of spiritual growth. Our disappointments or frustrations should not be cause for giving up. Like Peter, we too can recommit and start anew. This Sunday and every day of our lives, Jesus is waiting to say again, "Follow me."

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