Sunday, April 14, 2013
Stretch Out Your Hands
April 14, 2013
Third Sunday of Easter 2013 C
By Rev. Joe McCloskey, SJ
The Sanhedrin ordered the apostles to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. Acts 5:40-41
Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” John 21:17-18
Piety expresses our love of Christ. The resurrection is the victory of our lives already won in Christ and a promise for ourselves when the time of our call home comes. Piety opens our hearts to Christ as a real person. We appreciate the ways his life gives meaning to our lives in his humanness becoming the perfect model of who we are meant to be. Christ has loved us with an everlasting love. The Resurrection is the forever of his love for us. Christ asks us even as he asked Peter if we love him. Our love of Christ shows itself in the ways we feed the people of God who are part of our lives. Our faith and our piety are shown by actions of love in our lives. We feed the needs of the people of God that are the sheep of Christ. We take on Christ’s role by our piety when we give our lives for the sake of each other. Christ challenges us to love one another even as he has loved us. The acid test of our love is always going to be in how well we give our lives for each other.
We study how we are needed by our family and friends. Goodness is seen in how we are willing to go where others lead us by their need. How we share Christ we learn from praying the life of Christ through the scriptures. There we discover where we are not yet as like to Christ as he asks us to be. Christ calls us by others’ need of our help and support. Christ reveals to us the road to his Father. We follow in the footsteps of Christ as the sure road to realize the plan God has for us. We are not islands. We are part of the mainland of God’s love for our world. We study how to work as if Christ was doing everything by our efforts and output. We have to be the hands the feet of Christ as we let him take us to where he wants us to work in his name. We are called to feed the sheep of Christ. Like Peter we offer our lives for his Mystical Body, the Church. We make up what is wanting to the suffering of Christ by what it costs us to be truly Christ for one another.
“We must obey God rather than men” is what we must say to those who are trying to get us to forget what it means to be a Catholic. We preach Christ by our respect for life. We stand up for the sanctity of the Sacrament of Marriage even when people are trying to take God out of marriage. Christ in the Sacrament of Marriage is the union of the man and the women. The child that can be born to them is the completion of the mystery of true love. How we stand up for what God has sanctified becomes the way we feed the flock of Christ that is our Church. There are commandments of God that are the truth of what happiness is all about and we live obedience to God’s commandments as the way we preach with our lives. There is no greater love than to give our lives for the sake of another and how we protect the sanctity of life becomes the way we feed the sheep of Christ.