Third Sunday of Easter (May 5, 2019)
Today’s Gospel tells the story of how Peter, in affirming his commitment of love to Jesus, is called to nurture Jesus’ flock. St. Francis de Sales urges us to be disciples like the apostles and bring God's Word to others:
Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. Peter’s heart was completely filled with love for His Master. Peter was lifted up again by God’s providence. Love is the universal means of our salvation. God’s love must always hold first place in our hearts. Let us waste no time and place ourselves entirely in the arms of Divine Providence. So loving is God’s hand as it handles our hearts!
What does God expect from you if not what was asked of the Apostles. It was nothing else than what Our Lord himself came to do in this world: to give life to all so that they may live a more abundant life. He did it by giving them His grace. Grace has the power, not to overpower, but to entice our hearts to consent to the movements of God’s love in us.
As much as possible, we must touch the hearts of others like the angels do, delicately and without coercion. While we ought to help and express our love to all equally, we must do it more so to those who have a greater need of us. Lead them to a more perfect life. They will find fullness of life by believing in Jesus’ word that you will explain to them. They will live a more abundant life through the example you are.
Go confidently and courageously, doing what you are entrusted to do. Do not say: “I am not up to the task.” Go ahead without worrying and turning back, for God will give you what you have to say and to do at the proper time. Have only one concern: to grow in your love and fidelity to God’s divine goodness and everything will turn out well for you.
(Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales)