Sunday Prayer Service
3rd Sunday of Easter
May 1, 2022
May your people exult for ever, O God,
in renewed youthfulness of spirit,
rejoicing now in the restored glory
of our adoption,
we may look forward in confident hope
to the rejoicing of the day of resurrection.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever
I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.
Jesus is concerned with whether Peter loves him; not whether he acknowledges his doctrine; not whether he has the desire to become a fisherman again, but whether there is affection in his heart.
—Auguste Valensin, S.J.
It is precisely when every earthly hope has been explored and found wanting . . . it is then that Christ’s hand reaches out, sure and firm, that Christ’s words bring their inexpressible comfort, that his light shines brightest, abolishing the darkness forever.
Compare your recent experience to that of the disciples after the Easter revelation. The Lord is risen! A theological earthquake has shaken human presumptions about life and death as never before. Now what? Well, in the absence of a better plan, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, and Zebedee’s sons get back in their boats. Fishing is something they know how to do and it’s always been a reliable source of livelihood for these Galileans. But there are nights when the fish don’t bite, and this is one of them.
Until they rearrange their nets and the great catch is caught, that is. One hundred and fifty-three fish are dredged up out of nowhere. Saint Jerome says that number is the sum of known species of fish at the time; he was about 39,000 off but we’ll take his word for it that this figure represents totality. Bible scholar Stephen Binz points out that the great catch doesn’t happen because the fish are suddenly there but because Jesus is. It is his presence that makes all the difference between want and complete satisfaction.
In a much larger and deeper sense, the church’s catch doesn’t depend on who’s casting the net. The presence of Jesus in your midst is paramount, and the rest of the cast of characters are truly quite optional.
It’s best to do as Peter did: confirm your love and loyalty to Christ above every other attachment. Jesus alone can change the want of your world into total satisfaction. He holds in his hands the 153 fish, and you can trust that what is given to him will not get away.
May the strength of God sustain us;
May the power of God preserve us;
May the hands of God protect us;
May the way of God direct us;
May the love of God go with us
this day and forever.
What's in Your Heart?
When have you been faced with the choice between obeying God and following human rules and laws? What did you do? How did you decide?
In the gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Peter wavered between denying Christ and wholeheartedly believing in him. When have you done the same? What was the outcome?
Have you ever gone someplace you did not want to go for the sake of God’s name?
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
The anger of the Lord lasts but a moment, the psalm proclaims, but God’s goodwill a lifetime. Confident in God’s favor, we pray for our needs and those of the world.
That the church obey and follow the ways of God, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.
That all the peoples of the world give glory and praise to God through their practice of justice and peace, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.
That all those persecuted because of what they believe find liberation from their oppression, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.
That this community of faith shows its love for God in body and spirit, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.
We trust that our God who grants us repentance and forgiveness hears our prayers, which we make in the name of Jesus Christ, exalted to God’s right hand as our shepherd and savior.