Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Third Sunday of Easter

Tiberius appearance.jpg

 “Do you love me?”

Sharing a meal is a universally recognised way of expressing and strengthening shared life and friendship. Today we find Jesus preparing a simple breakfast for his disciples. It was a practical thing to do since they had been working throughout the night; but it was also symbolic, demonstrating the restoration of union between himself and his disciples. After all, these were the men who had fallen asleep when he had needed their support, the ones who had fled and deserted him when he was arrested. And among them was Peter, the one who had three times denied even knowing him. It was to them that Jesus appeared; and for them that he had prepared his lakeside barbecue.

Words of forgiveness were not explicitly spoken, but the complex reality of pardon and peace and reconciliation was clearly present throughout the story. There were no accusations of failure, no explorations of guilt, no demands for remorse. Simply an invitation: “come and have breakfast”. It’s over; let the past be past. He had only one question: “Do you love me?” That was what mattered to him, not all that they had done or failed to do in the past. His question was about the here and now, and about the future.

Today the risen Lord addresses us in the same way. He does not want to drag us through all our past faults and failures, our sins and stupidities, our weakness and waywardness. He longs to enrich us with his own life and love, to pour out on us his reconciling grace. He invites us to join him in a sacred meal in which he totally gives himself to us so that we may be in full personal communion with him. In all that he does for us he hopes to evoke from us a positive response to his deeply personal question: “Do you love me?”