On this Third Sunday of Easter, we hear the following passage from the Gospel of John: “Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’” Peter had only to remember that he had denied knowing Jesus three times. Jesus was not testing him, but was stirring up in Peter the strength that he knew Peter had, but had disappeared during the time of Jesus’ arrest. Jesus was preparing Peter for the future which would have many challenges. We know that Peter did not disappoint Jesus and eventually died on a cross like his master. The Easter season is an opportunity to have our faith strengthened as we hear how those closest to Jesus had to mature in their faith also. These are important opportunities for us. Jesus asks us: “Do you love me?”

Each Friday during the Easter season we pray the Via Lucis after the 12:30 and 5:30 Masses. These are the Stations of the Resurrection: Jesus rises from the dead, the disciples discover the empty tomb, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, the risen Lord appears on the road to Emmaus, the Lord is recognized in
the breaking of bread, the Lord appears to the disciples, the Lord breathes peace and gives the power to forgive, Jesus strengthens the faith of Thomas, the Lord eats with his disciples, the Lord forgives Peter, Jesus sends his disciples into the world, the Risen Lord ascends into heaven, Mary and the disciples keep vigil, and the Holy Spirit descents on the disciples. The Scripture for each station is read and a prayer follows that is recited by all. We are familiar with the Way of the Cross; the Stations of the Resurrection complete the earthly life of Jesus with the various events taken from the Gospels. They are a beautiful meditation for the Easter season.

-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.