Word To Life
Sunday Scripture Readings, April 14, 2013
By Jeff Hedglen
Catholic News Service
April 14, Third Sunday of Easter
Cycle C. Readings:
1) Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
2) Revelation 5:11-14
Gospel: John 21:1-19
As a freshman in college, because I was surrounded by people who did not know my history, I was amazed at how easy it was to be a different person than I was in high school. I had been very active in my faith in high school, but in college none of the people I was in class with knew this, so I realized it would be an easy thing to be an undercover Christian.
At my home church, I was attending a Bible study through which I became convinced that I was not being a witness to my faith, so I did what I thought was a simple thing: I put a one-inch circular button on my backpack that simply said, "I love Jesus."
I was quickly amazed at the power of that tiny statement. People would see the button and conversations would ensue. Sometimes they, too, were Christian and we had a nice conversation. Other times, when they discovered I was a Catholic, the conversation turned more interesting. Often, the people who commented were not Christian and the discussion that followed would be deep and full of questions, doubt and their own story of faith or lack of faith.
In addition to striking up conversations, the button served to hold me accountable to its message. If I was announcing that I loved Jesus, I had to act like I loved Jesus.
This week's readings reveal the early disciples spreading the good news about Jesus after his resurrection and proclaiming their love for him, often to their own detriment. We also see Jesus repeatedly asking Peter if he loves him.
Loving Jesus is not just a matter of the heart; it is a call to action. Peter is told by Jesus to "feed my sheep," and the disciples' love for Jesus drove them to share this love.
Our love for Jesus also needs to be on display. But it is not enough to wear a button or put a bumper sticker on one's car. We need to show our love for Jesus with our words and deeds. For the world will really know we are Christians by our love.
How do you reveal your love for Jesus to your friends, family and community? Have you ever "suffered dishonor" for your love for Jesus?
SCRIPTURE TO BE ILLUSTRATED:
"Do you love me?" -- John 21:16
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