RCL Year C Easter 3
Acts 9:1-6, Psalm 30, Revelation 5:11-14, Saint John 21:1-19

We sang on Easter Day “The strife is o’er,”[1]. And indeed it is. The arduous activities of Lent and Holy Week have been completed for another year. Winter is over, and these cool and chilly days remind us that the worst of the year is in our rearview mirror. The strife and the winter being over, however, does not mean that there’s nothing to do.

Peter’s strife of cutting off the high priest’s slave’s ear is over. And, similarly, the winter of his three denials of Jesus is over. Peter’s strife and winter being over, however, does not mean that there is nothing for him to do. In fact, just the opposite is true.

In the Gospel today, we see Jesus’ first conversation with Peter after the resurrection. Peter has seen the empty tomb. He has been present, twice, when the resurrected Lord appeared to the disciples, once without Thomas and once with Thomas. But the Gospel today is their first conversation together since the resurrection.

Peter seems to think that the adventure of following Jesus is over. He can go back to his former life; he can return to fishing. But Jesus has something else in mind for him. Jesus demonstrates that Peter’s success, or failure, at fishing is in Jesus’ hands. John certainly gets the point, for he includes it in his Gospel. There is room to doubt whether Peter gets that. He has not always been able to put two and two together in the past.

But when Jesus asks Peter three times whether he loves him, and when Jesus commands him three times to “Feed my sheep,”[2] we may cautiously conclude that even Peter understands that Jesus has something for him to do. He has told Peter three times what it is.

Jesus has something for everybody to do. Jesus has something for Saul to do. The Lesson about him ends with this: “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”[3]

If we all have something to do, what are we doing about it?

[1] Hymn 208, Stanza 1.

[2] Saint John 21:17.

[3] Acts 9:5-6.