Sunday, April 14, 2013

Gospel Reflection

April 14, 2013
Sunday – Year of Faith – Easter Season
Third Sunday of Easter
by Rev. Fr. John G. Barro, Parish Priest, Mary Mirror of Justice Parish, Comembo, Makati City
6:00PM Mass, Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel, Greenbelt, Makati

When the captain and the court officers had brought the apostles in and made them stand before the Sanhedrin, the high priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name? Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

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.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13

R. (2a) I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
R. Alleluia.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the netherworld;
you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
R. Alleluia.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
R. Alleluia.
Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
O LORD, be my helper.
You changed my mourning into dancing;
O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R. I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 Rev 5:11-14

I, John, looked and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: “To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might,
forever and ever.” The four living creatures answered, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

Gospel Jn 21:1-19

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 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.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”


Tonight, we will learn about three graces. The grace of the look of Jesus, the grace of an encounter with Jesus, and the grace of restoration.

Let us go to the first one - the grace, the look of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the night of Jesus' death, Peter was close enough to see Jesus. He could see Jesus. But Peter was not close enough to be seen with Jesus, because he was afraid. He was recognized three times. He had three chances to make a bold stand for the Lord, but he blew it. And when the cock crowed - huwag nating kakalimutan ito - Jesus turned and looked at Peter.

Ako, noong bata ako, inaral ko ang mga tingin ng Nanay ko. Iba-iba ang mga tingin niya. Bawat tingin niya, may sinasabi. Kapag may mga bisita kaming mga co-teachers niya, isang tingin lang niya sa akin, alam ko na, na kailangang dahan-dahan ang pagsubo ng pagkain. Kapag tiningnan pa niya ako, alam ko na. Kailangang tama na ang pagkuha ng ulam at kanin. Minsan ang tingin niya ay may kasama pang pang-aapak sa paa at sasabihin niya, "Tumigil ka na. Busog ka na. Akala mo lang hindi ka pa busog." (laughs) Ganoon ang ibig sabihin ng mga tingin na 'yon.

But the look of Jesus was different. That look searched Peter. Because of that look, Peter saw himself as he was. Jesus searched him through and through. Jesus' look was so real. Then Peter remembered, and he ran away and wept bitterly because he could not stand up for Jesus and fight for Him. He could not acknowledge Jesus. He could not even say his Master's name. But when Jesus looked at Peter, maybe He wanted to tell Peter, "I have forgiven you for what you have done. I am not condemning you and will never condemn you. Please forgive yourself." Peter's repentance started with that look.

Second - the encounter with Jesus. Kapag alam mo ang hidden frustration ng magulang mo na ikaw ang cause, 'yong pag-uwi mo pa lang sa bahay, 'yong pagkatok mo pa lang at pagbukas niya ng pinto, you already have your own misgivings. You know how it feels to let somebody down. Kapag nasaktan mo ang asawa mo, ang anak mo, ang magulang mo, your encounter provokes misgivings. Can I still be trusted? Am I still dependable or trustworthy enough? I do not deserve my father's love or my mother's love.

But an encounter with the Lord is different. That morning of Easter, Peter ran to the tomb, thinking that if Jesus has risen, he will probably seek forgiveness from Him. At nang hindi niya nakita, he went back to fishing. And he could not get any fish. There he encountered Jesus. Napakaganda nito kasi bumalik sila sa kanilang dating ginagawa, where it all started. Fishing was their life. Jesus appeared to Peter, where Peter was first called by the Lord, in the Sea of Galilee.

If you have a conflict with your loved one, go back to your enthusiasm before - as a couple, as a family. Just like the encounter of Peter with Jesus, sometimes it is good to return to your own past. You know, I have not been here at Greenbelt for five years or half a decade. Five years na po akong hindi nakakapagmisa dito sa Greenbelt pag Sunday, kasi sobrang busy po ako sa aking project. Ako po ay sobrang busy sa pagbebenta ng kung anu-ano. Kung anu-ano na lang ang ginagawa ko. Sumasayaw, tuma-tumbling tumbling para mabuhay. (laughs) Pagod na pagod po ako. At kung nanlulupaypay na po ako, I go back to the enthusiasm of my vocation. Return to your own past, not for the purpose of blaming people, but to understand. Not to provoke one another, but to allow your past to bless you as a family, as a couple, as a person.

The third is restoration. Oh, what a beautiful thing it is to be restored by God's grace, to be restored by God's love. Weep not. Ano man ang pinagdadaanan natin ngayon sa buhay, weep not. We may probably be going through a dark night, but weep not. Because we have the risen Lord with us, and God has redeemed us. Tonight, we pray that God redeems our own past and bless our old wounded yesterdays. And if He can do these to us, what more tomorrow, when He fully restores us? Weep not. In spite of our own weaknesses, our sinfulness and limitations, or even our own inflated sense of self, God blesses us and redeems us. He can use us as an instrument of His hope and love. He is blessing tonight our own wounded past, our own brokenness. Weep....not.....