Sunday, May 5, 2019
3rd Sunday of Easter
First Reading: Acts 9:1-6 (7-20), Psalm 30
Second Reading: Rev. 5:11-14a
Gospel Reading: John 21:1-19
The liturgical color for the day is: White
From the Clarity of Identity Bible Study – Unit 1 on Acts 9
The conversion of Saul requires the transformative work of Ananias and the members of the Christian faith community. Saul was a threat. Ananias voiced his caution, but he moved forward in obedience and faithfulness. He was open to changing his views about Saul. Saul remained with the disciples in the coming days (see v. 19). Those disciples had shifted their view and helped in the formation of Saul. Evidence of that transformation is seen in the testimony that concludes the passage: “…and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’”
This key role played by the community in the conversion and formation of Saul, becomes the foundational linking for Saul between his experience on the Damascus road and his vocational identity. Saul’s encounter with Jesus and then his encounter with the Christian community enabled him to claim and understand the new purpose of his life. In the Christian community his past is put into perspective and his future is opened to him.
From the Clarity of Identity Bible Study – Unit 1 on John 21
The story extends the view of God as the Shepherd (Psalm 23) and Jesus as the Good Shepherd (John 10). Here Jesus continues as the Good Shepherd who gathers his flock anew and feeds them (with both literal food and spiritual nourishment). Part of the richness of the story is the direct encounter with the one who denied Jesus three times. The three denials correspond to the three questions and commands of Jesus to Peter. The question about love comes before each command.
Earlier in John’s gospel we hear Jesus connect love for him with love for one another. Such love for Jesus is made manifest in the way the followers of Jesus feed, tend, and continue to feed the sheep of the Good Shepherd. The final words of Jesus to Peter echo back to his first words to Peter: “Follow me.”
Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena