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Archive for April 12th, 2020


Easter Sunday, April 12, 2013

1 Peter 1

lambs[1]The Gift and Call of God

As we celebrate this holiest of days, we continue with our Easter reflections from 2013. Today much of the world is locked in battle with a virus we cannot see with our eyes or hear with our ears. Just as the Israelites hunkered down to await the passing of the death that struck down the first born, so too do we wait in God’s presence and hope. Just as heroes in each time of calamity rise to erect and defend barricades against annihilating enemies, so too do our heroes drive through fear in God’s promise and call. Today we remember that promise and call of so many Easters passed. We remember the peace of so many Easter miracles. We remember the healing that always arrives after catastrophe. 

We have witnessed the miracle of Easter. We have seen the risen Lord.  We have accompanied the disciples as they watch and await the call to kingdom building.  We have witnessed the return and redemption of the apostle Peter.  Today and tomorrow we reflect on the gift and call of God – love freely given, Word openly amidst us.  We turn to the opening of the first of Peter’s letters and examine his message.

In a homily this morning, Bishop Newman pointed out that Jesus’ apostles awaited his second coming as a physical one.  They most likely expected Jesus to return in the same way he had returned after his resurrection.  This second coming did not take place in their lifetimes; scholars will tell us that this second coming takes place in the life of each of us.  This thinking makes Peter’s words to us today all the more immediate:  We wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God . . .  He suggests to us today that we implement faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, devotion, and mutual love in order that we might persevere without becoming discouraged.  The Bishop reminded us that we might re-read these words when we are exhausted from waiting, when apostolic witnessing has taken its toll, when prophecy seems a dim memory.

Peter tells us that his words are altogether reliable.  We know the persistence he mustered in order to continue telling Christ’s story against so much disbelief and opposition.  He denied the Christ three times on the night of Jesus’ crucifixion; after the resurrection he thrice affirmed that Jesus was the Son of the Living God . . . and for this loyalty he was asked to feed God’s lambs, to feed God’s sheep.  So when we are asked – as Peter was asked – Do you truly love me? how will we respond to this gift?  And when we are asked – as Peter was asked – Feed my sheep, how will we answer this call?  Are we willing to endure?  Are we able to remain?  Can we put ourselves at risk?  Will we extend ourselves to others?

We have received a great gift, the gift of life.  We have received a great call, the call to eternal life.  Let us consider what we have before us.  Let us look to the example of Peter.  And let us be genuine and authentic in our reply.


A re-posted favorite from Easter Week 2013. First written on June 1, 2010. Edited and posted today as a Favorite.

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