Message of the Week

Peace Be With You

Third Sunday of Easter

Peter seems to be pretty tough with his listeners in the first reading. He practically says they handed Jesus over, denied him before Pilate, asked for a murderer to be released in his place, and put Jesus to death. They must have thought they were doomed. But then he tells them that God had planned all this long ago. So is he saying Jesus’ death is their fault, or just fate?

The answer of course is that it’s everyone’s fault. We deny Jesus when we choose to be selfish instead of loving. We crucify Jesus when we follow the crowd instead of following the Lord. It is only “fate” in the sense that our sins needed to be forgiven and God plan’s for salvation was through Jesus’ death and resurrection. There were sinners long before Jesus’ time and God knew there would be sinners after that. Jesus rose from the dead to show that God’s forgiveness raises us up from guilt to a new life.

So Peter wasn’t laying a guilt trip on the listeners: this is good news. God planned all this to show how much he loved us. Our response should be one of joy that we are forgiven because of that love. All we have to do is tell God we are sorry, mean it, and start living our response of love. Sins may be our fault, but Love is our fate.

Tom Schmidt, Diocesean Publications.

Third Sunday of Easter | USCCB

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