Friday within the Octave of Easter
(Acts 4:1-12; John 21:1-14)
“The one who loves much, does much.” The actions of Peter on behalf of Jesus in today’s Scriptures witness to this simple test of love. Love moves the chief apostle in the reading from Acts to confront the Jewish leaders who recently negotiated Jesus’ execution. In the gospel, love inspires him to rush into the water with clothes on to greet the risen Lord.
As courageous and spontaneous as Peter’s love for Jesus is, it only shadows Jesus’ love for him and for the rest of us. St. Paul surely captures the heart of the gospel when he writes: “...God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). His death has gained for us the forgiveness of sin. But that is only half of the wonder of God’s love. His resurrection – the other half – bestows on us life in abundance.
Peter’s actions suggest how we might show our love for Christ. We too can confront sin by naming it and repenting of it. There may be people in our lives for whom we harbor resentment. We must acknowledge our deliberate dislike as sin, pray for healing grace, and make serious effort to approach those people in charity. Likewise, we should lose no time in meeting the Lord in the Eucharist. Coming early to pray quietly and to preview the Scripture readings will deepen our encounter with the risen Lord.