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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.

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. 

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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.

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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.

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1 - 8 of 8 Comments

  1. Jimmy Hernandez
    4 years ago

    While I was reading this article, I could not help but think of all the failures and sins that I had committed during my life. I have repented of all those sins and failures. I have grown closer to God and to our Lord Jesus Christ throughout the years that have past. I have spent the last 5 years thinking of God and Christ everyday almost all day long. I have a son and a daughter and I have introduced them to God and Christ Jesus everyday through prayers, bible studies and instilling faith in them. they now know that God is our father in Heaven and they, as well as I, long to see Heaven, Jesus Christ and God someday. I thank God everyday for his love and for sending his only son Jesus Christ to die on the cross and resurrect for our sins. God's love is overwhelming. And as a person, I have a hard time understanding God's mysteries because I am human and fall so short of being worthy in his presence that I am ashamed of myself for my past transgressions. I love God with all my heart, with all my soul and with all of my strengh and I know the "Our Father" loves me too. Great article and thank you for reminding me that God's hand and his will comes through for the furtherance of all mankind's well being.

  2. Profit Oviri Agi
    4 years ago

    The church has always come under attack even when our Lord Jesus Christ himself was still on earth, and as such the church will always be under fire for as long as it continue to preach against evil in this world. Infact when the world ceases to attack the church, then there should be real concern as this could mean that the world has probably gained control of the church which is what the world is seeking to do.

    This period of trial for the church would still pass, and for those calling for the Holy father to step down, they should think again as only God should decide that. Whether the Holy father does step down or not, the church will always remain ''The body of christ''. Whether some priest go astray or not, christ will remain the same and surely he would come again to judge everyone irrespective of who they are now in this world. My brothers and sisters, while we continue to pray for the church in this difficult time, let us not forget the reason we go to church in the first instance "our own salvation". This is our primary objective not to scrutinise those that are doing the work of God. Let God himself judge them at this time not we humans.

    Meanwhile, we should not forget to pray for those in the holy order as their job is not an easy one. Not many of us would agree to do it even for a day. Do not forget this. Thank you all.

  3. Dr. Mac, MMMI
    4 years ago

    My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Our Risen Saviour:

    Blessings in Our Beloved Mother Mary!

    I pray all those who encounter failures during this time in their lives will as Our Blessed St. Peter says, see it as an opportunity to learn to love better and stronger.

    As for me, I now better understand that my recent failures are not really failures at all, only learning experiences and lessons in patience, making me stronger, and better preparing me for the Medical Missions Aposolate that Our Blessed Mother has planned for me and the Medical Missionaries of the Militia of the Immaculata (MMMI).

    Our Beloved Lord and Our Most Beloved Mother Mary's Blessings on you all always,

    Dr. Mac, MMMI
    http://www.medmissions-mi.com/
    http://www.consecration.com/
    http://www.franciscans.org/franweblinks.cfm

  4. Joy
    4 years ago

    Thanks a lot for the words that enrich the faith, above all with the beautiful message that sin and failure should lead us more closer and closer to God than having a guilt conscience... It is a call to new life and beginning...Is is worth reading..

  5. Jim from San Antonio
    4 years ago

    Beautiful! In many ways, Peter is a gift to us-----always an encouragement for our journey.

  6. Obinna Onwuka
    4 years ago

    i am really appreciative for these words of faith by our dearly annointed Priests of God posted here. Catholic.org you have continued to enrish my soul each day. God bless you all. And i dedicate all my life to the service of God, leaving sin which hinders my faith.Father James, Deacon Keith, Randy kersey & others i love you all.

  7. Marzy
    4 years ago

    Thank you so much angels for guiding back to my faith & spiritual believe in god & my angels who are always by my side...

  8. john
    4 years ago

    thanks to catholic on-line.You will be a great help in my evangelization ministry. God bless

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