3rd Sunday of Easter

May 5, 2019

Today we celebrate the Third Sunday of Easter. The Gospels recount a number of times that Jesus came to table and ate with others. Following His Resurrection, eating with His friends was a way for Him to show them that it was still and truly Him. In today’s Gospel, Jesus has breakfast with His disciples on the shore of Tiberias. It seems that the disciples engaged in a familiar activity to cope with their grief; they left Jerusalem and went to Galilee to fish. They still don’t understand what resurrection means. While on the lake, a man stands on the shore and calls to them. They do as He asks and catch an incredible number of fish, which is their clue that the man is Jesus. He cooks breakfast for them, taking bread and fish and giving it to them as He had done before. Afterwards Jesus seeks Peter out. Through their three-fold dialogue Peter reaffirms his love for Jesus and Jesus forgives Peter’s three-fold denial. Asking Peter to follow Him again, Jesus touches the wound of Peter’s denial with reconciling love. Peter is changed, as his bold exchange with the Sanhedrin in the first reading makes clear. Peter gives blessing, honor, and glory to the Lamb, no matter the cost. It is difficult to eat with someone with whom we are at odds. Food often sticks in our throats. But meals can also be the setting where relationships are healed, friends are reconciled, and love becomes strong again. Those times can give us courage to be vulnerable, face the issues that divide people, and forge a path to reconciliation, like Jesus and Peter. The Eucharist is that kind of meal for us. Here, sinners though we are, Jesus says, “Do YOU love me?” He brings us healing and dines with us in a glorious meal, a foretaste of the banquet feast of Heaven.

Our selection of new Parish Council members is just five weeks away. On Pentecost Sunday we will select three new members and two alternates to serve a three-year term on our parish leadership team. Is Jesus asking you, “Do you love St. Luke Parish and want to offer your time and talent to help it thrive and grow?” Pray about this, and if He is inviting you to consider His call, please respond and put your name in for selection.

We have begun our Annual Catholic Appeal here in the Archdiocese and at St. Luke’s. Thank you to our co-chairs, Dee Brockman and Felice Nighbor for once again coordinating our efforts on the home front. This weekend we are having a guest speaker at masses sharing with us the good works the ACA is able to perform thanks to your generosity. We welcome Mr. Chris Baechle, Chief Executive Officer of Cardinal Ritter Senior Services. Pledge cards for the ACA for all parishioners are available in the main foyer this weekend. Please stop and make a pledge for this year’s appeal. If you are a new parishioner, please fill out one of the blank cards available. This year’s theme for the Appeal is “I Believe.” Because we believe our faith calls us to generously give to the needs of the Church, I am confident we will do our best to support the ACA.

Finally today, I was asked if we were going to continue our tradition of summer holiday “Mass on the Grass.” Yes! As we have done the past couple of years we will have Mass on Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day on McMahon Field, weather permitting at 9:00am. We are also planning another special parish celebration, “Msgr. McMahon’s Birthday,” on Saturday, Sept. 28th. The 5:00pm Mass will be held on McMahon Field. More details to come as we finalize plans, but mark your calendars now and plan to come and celebrate our parish and the incredible work Msgr. McMahon did when he was pastor.

God Bless! Happy Eastertide!

Remember those 3 Hail Marys (Fr. Pete)