Homily — 3rd Sunday Easter C 4/18/10
In the First Reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the Twelve Apostles are dragged into court and are accused of doing three things:
First, they are accused of disobeying the strict orders to stop teaching in Jesus’ name out in public.
Second, they are accused of filling the city with Jesus’ teachings.
And Third, the apostles are accused of wanting to bring Jesus’ blood upon the people they preached Christ to.
When asked by the judge “How do you plead to these accusations?” the Apostles joyfully replied “We are guilty of all three charges, thanks be to God, and we will in the future continue to be guilty of all three things, so help us God!”
And hopefully, you and I, as fellow followers of Jesus, could also be accused of the same three things the Apostles were accused of.
The world should be able to accuse of first of proclaiming Jesus. No strict orders by the powers that be, no peer pressure, no political correctness, nor anything else should stop us from publicly proclaiming Jesus by our words and actions in the world we live and work in.
And should Jesus or any of His teachings become outlawed in our society, we must like the apostles obey God rather than men.
Secondly, as Christians, we should be accused of trying to fill the city with Christ’s teachings.
Not only every part of our being, but also every part of our community we are to fill with the saving teachings of Christ and His Church.
We must bring the teachings of Christ and His Church to our homes and neighborhoods, our schools and our places of work; the Gospel should shape our political views, should permeate the arts and entertainment we surround ourselves with.
As Christians we should be striving at all times to build a Culture that is Catholic in every aspect.
And thirdly, we like the Apostles in the first reading should want to bring Christ’s blood upon all those we come in contact with.
We should want all people – our fellow Catholics in the pews for sure, but also our non-Catholic Christian friends, and our fallen away Catholic friends, our Jewish and Moslem friends, our Hindu and Buddhist friends, our Agnostic and Atheist friends, and even our enemies as well
– we should want all these people and all we meet to know by our words and actions and prayers that Jesus passionately loves them and has shed His blood for them, and that Jesus invites them all to be one in Him and in His Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
May the world, may the society around us be able to accuse us of these three things, of proclaiming the Name of Jesus, of filling the world with His teaching, and of wanting His saving blood to be upon all people.
But sadly, how many times do we fail to do these three things!
How many times a day even, does our doubts and fears and fallen nature all get the better of us, and we fail to proclaim Jesus by word and action, fail to bring Jesus into certain parts of our life, fail to love others as Christ calls us to love them?
Jesus said to Peter Before this day is over, you will deny three times you know me. In a way, the same thing can be said of us, before the day is over we will deny Jesus three times, maybe thirty three times.
But Jesus knew that Peter was truly sorry that he denied Him, and so after the Resurrection Christ gave Peter the opportunity to say Three Times that he loved Jesus.
And the power and grace of the Resurrection gave Peter the strength and faith to not deny Jesus publically any more, but to be a great evangelist who attracted many people to Jesus.
This Season of Easter my brothers and sisters, the Risen Lord says to you and me as he said to Peter “Do you Love me more than anything else?”
This Season of Easter, Jesus wishes to strengthen our Love for Him, to strengthen our Faith in Him, so that we may Feed His Sheep, the Hungry and Lost People of the world he wants to send us to.
Jesus, we believe you are Risen and with us in this Blessed Sacrament we are about to receive. Jesus you know that we love you, and that we are sorry for the times we fail to bring you to others.
Jesus by your glorious resurrection, make us strong in our faith, that the world may have no doubts whatsoever that we are truly your followers.