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Sunday, April 14, 2013

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Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 5:27-32, 40-41
Revelation 5:11-14
Psalm 30:2, 4-6, 11-13
John 21:1-19

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the hundred-yard dash

"Actually they were not far from land — no more than a hundred yards." —John 21:8

When we sin, we distance ourselves from the Lord. Like Jonah, we try to get as far away from God as we can (see Jon 1:3). Like Jonah, however, we run into God no matter where we go. The psalmist questioned: "Where can I go from Your Spirit? From Your presence where can I flee? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I sink to the nether world, You are present there" (Ps 139:7-8). Nevertheless, if we insist on it, the Lord will let us finally escape from Him. This place of escape is called hell or eternal damnation where we can separate ourselves from God forever.

When we run away from God, the Lord will try to flush us out of our hiding place of sin (see Lk 15:4). As He did with Adam and Eve, the Lord will call to us: "Where are you?" (Gn 3:9) If we turn back to Him, He will meet us much more than halfway. Our heavenly Father will run out to meet us, throw His arms around our necks, and kiss us (Lk 15:20).

However, the Lord will not force Himself on us. We must repent. When Peter distanced himself from Jesus by going back into the fishing business and rejecting Jesus' call to be a fisher of men, Jesus reached out to Peter and got within a hundred yards of him (Jn 21:8). However, Peter had to jump in the lake and swim a hundred yards (Jn 21:7). In His love for us, Jesus will travel all time and space to be close to us. Through repentance, we must cover a few yards to get to Jesus.

In this Easter season, how close are you to Jesus? If you've distanced yourself from Him, repent and jump in the lake.

Prayer:  Father, if I sin, may I make a hundred-yard dash back to You.

Promise:  "We testify to this. So too does the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those that obey Him." —Acts 5:32

Praise:  "Worthy is the Lamb That was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and praise!" (Rv 5:12)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 2, 2012

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