Saturday, April 9, 2016

4-10-2016 -- 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year C

April 10, 2016 - 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year C
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church

Did you ever wonder why there are three bears, three little pigs, three blind mice and three musketeers? Three is the perfect number for a good story. Two is not enough and four is too many.

Three allows the writer to build suspense for maximum effect without losing the audience. It is not an accident then, that our divinity is a trinity: Father, Son and Spirit.

And the number three figures into the Easter story of Jesus’ Passion, Death and Resurrection.

There are three days in the tomb, three types of post resurrection appearances, the three-fold denial of Peter, with the subsequent three questions from Jesus addressed to Peter. There are three hours on the cross, and death comes at three o’clock.

Maybe Sunday homilies might have a greater impact in our lives if pastors could just limit themselves to three minutes.

In today’s gospel, we find the disciples so discouraged that they have returned to their former lives. They are back to fishing. And it's no surprise that they are fishing in the dark of night and coming up empty handed.

Jesus appears on the shore at the break of dawn. Jesus is the light. Jesus is the dawn. And notice that when Jesus is present in their lives they are suddenly productive again. There is a great catch of fish which overwhelms them.

Of course, Peter is there. And his threefold denial is eating away at him. He is all tangled up inside, lost in the darkness of his sin.

So Jesus asks Peter three questions to blot out those three denials. To make up for his sins, Peter must give a three-fold profession of love. Not once, not twice, but three times, “I love you.”

What does this mean for us? We deny. We betry. We turn away. We get lost in our own sinfulness. We go astray.

But we are given a three-fold opportunity. Life is not too hot. Life is not too cold. Life is not too hard. Life is not too soft. When we have a relationship with Jesus, life is just right.

Why? Because three times the Lord asks us, “Do you love me?”

And three times we answer, “Lord, you know that I love you.”

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