In the first reading Peter and John cure a man through the power of the risen Christ. This gets them in trouble with the Jerusalem temple leaders, especially the Sadducees. The Sadducees were an interesting lot. They only accepted the first five books of the Old Testament. They rejected the prophets and the writings. They had some unique views. For example, they did not believe in angels or spirits and they rejected the idea of a bodily resurrection. You see them infrequently during the ministry of Jesus so why are they out to get Peter and John? They do not seem to care that a lame man has been cured. They do not even appear to be that exercised about people believing in Jesus. What irritated them was that the proclamation that Jesus was raised from the dead might encourage people to believe in the resurrection of the dead. They ask the disciples by what power or name they cured the lame man. Peter’s response had to chafe. The man was healed in the name of the very one you rejected. You crucified him; God raised him. You rejected him; God made him the cornerstone of his Temple. There is salvation in no other name.
Psalm 118 focuses on the words Peter used about Jesus as the cornerstone. It envisions a group of pilgrims heading toward the Temple in Jerusalem. As the pilgrims approach the Temple, there is a back and forth between them and the Temple singers.
Singers: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.
The Gospel lesson is a simple story about Jesus appearing to his disciples after his death and resurrection. The disciples revert back to their fishing days but are unsuccessful. The mysterious figure on the shore suggests they try the other side of the boat. After a huge catch of fish, everyone must have remembered how this happened before and concluded that the man on the beach was Jesus. Peter cannot wait for the boat to drag that load of fish to shore so he jumped in the water and swam the hundred yards to get to Jesus. Peter denied Jesus but he was no wimp. He even dragged the bulging net onto the shore by himself. What is Jesus doing? Cooking breakfast. When the disciples arrive he served them some of his bread and fish. Yes, fish is a good choice even after Lent!
Today’s readings are quite simple, yet profound. Death has been conquered. The Lord still desires fellowship with his disciples. The power of his resurrection dwells in those who call upon his name. In fact, there is no other power or name under heaven by which we are saved. The Lord is risen! He is risen indeed!
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