Third Sunday of Easter: The Apostle Peter Teaches Us Lessons From Failure
Peter teaches us that failure is an opportunity to love better and stronger. By beginning again and again, failure is an opportunity to love God and neighbor even more. When you can truly love, you will never fear failure and sin, because failure and sin become opportunities to love even more intensely.
Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. Many of the greatest saints of the Catholic Church were at one time great sinners.
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (CATHOLIC ONLINE) - Every sin is a failure. However, there is a lot that we can learn every time we say no to the Lord. Every moment of sin is a moment to love more. During the Last Supper, Peter assured the Lord of his love. Nevertheless, Jesus predicted that he would deny him three times.
Sometimes pride causes us to sin. We feel confident that we can handle certain situations. Pride can even blind us from the memory of past experiences, and we fall in the same hole over and over again.
In this Sunday's gospel narrative, Jesus asks Peter three times if he really does love him. The triple profession of love that Peter makes after the Resurrection overcomes his threefold denial before the Passion.
When Peter denied the Lord, the Scriptures tell us that he went away and wept bitterly. Through repentance and compunction, Peter was able to mistrust his own abilities and put his trust entirely in the Lord. He discovered that left to his own abilities, he would continue to fall. However, united to the power of God's grace, he could overcome himself and persevere in fidelity.
There must be a reason why Jesus chose Peter to be the head of his Apostles. He trusted Peter and knew that he would return loving even more. Perfect people do not exist. God always chooses the weak in order to bring about great tasks. People who recognize their weaknesses, sinfulness and limitations are humble. Humility allows them to rely on God's grace and not on their own capabilities. The arrogant do not allow God to work in their lives, or through them, in the lives of others.
"Peter, do you love me"? Peter was asked this question three times. Three times Peter assured the Lord that he loved him, and three times Peter was commissioned to show his love by feeding the flock. This reminds us that love is not comprised of empty promises. Love is made manifest in giving ourselves to others.
Easter is all about the new way of life called Christianity. Feeding lambs and feeding sheep means that because of Jesus, we no longer can live for ourselves. We need to be kind to each other, affirm and encourage one another, serve and forgive one another.
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. Many of the greatest saints of the Catholic Church were at one time great sinners. Simply consider the sins of David, Magdalen, Paul and Augustine. Nevertheless, they, like many others, were able to turn their lives around and love even more.
This Sunday's gospel passage reminds us that our own personal sin is never the end of the story. Every day God gives us a blank piece of paper to write the history of a new day.
"Peter, do you love me?" Jesus asks us the same question: Do you love me? Every day, we have many moments to show Jesus how much we really do love him.
"Peter, do you love me more than these?" Do you love me more than your possessions? Do you love me more than your money? Do you love me more than your house? Do you love me more than your spouse, your children, your mother and your father? Do you really love me more than yourself?
Unless we are able to go into the desert, which is a terrible and difficult journey, we will never experience true love. And why is this true? This is true because in order to really love the way Jesus call us to love, we must truly die to ourselves. Only those who are free from any attachment, any obsession and any addiction can truly love. When you really die to yourself, love possesses you. When you can truly love, you will never fear failure and sin, because failure and sin become opportunities to love even more intensely.
For all those who call themselves disciples of Jesus, failure is an opportunity to love better and stronger. By beginning again and again, failure is an opportunity to love God and neighbor even more.
Father James Farfaglia is the pastor of Saint Helena of the True Cross of Jesus Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, Texas. Father has a hard hitting blog called Illegitimi non carborundum. He has also published a book called Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men about Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life. He is a contributor to Catholic Online.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people: That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Lent / Easter News
- 4th Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
- 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
- Good Friday Reflection on the Nature of Sin
- Lent is almost over, but have YOU kept this Commandment?
- 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
- Holy Thursday: Take Up the Basin and Towel. Love is a Verb.
- Holy Thursday: He Loves to the End
- 2nd Sorrowful Mystery: The Scourging at the Pillar
- The Precious and Life-Giving Cross of Christ
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Easter / Lent
'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading
Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading
On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading
HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading
On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading
Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading
For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading
Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now
What did you give up for Lent?
From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014
This Sorrowful pilgrimage now brings me here to this lonely hill. All the agony, the beatings and the bleeding have led me somewhere I do not want to go; somewhere I resist going with all my ...Continue Reading
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014
I wonder if perhaps it was tempting for Jesus to just lie down on the dirt road and die right there. Completely sapped of strength and in agonizing pain, I wonder if He was tempted by the ...Continue Reading
Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014
Humiliation, in one form or another, is part of the package. It is only avoidable if we decide to deny Christ. WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning ...Continue Reading
Michael Terheyden - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014
The Passion of Christ represents the most atrocious miscarriage of justice in all of human history. So when we come face to face with the crucified Christ on Good Friday, it is only natural for us to ...Continue Reading
On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.
In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More
Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations
'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35
Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.
Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
Learn More »