Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead. (John 21: 1-14)
Today’s Gospel is full of symbolism and in that symbolism lies so much meaning for each of us.
In its essence, our Gospel story speaks of love. First Peter and then the disciples recognize our Lord. As he did when they walked together, he nourishes and sustains them. They gather to be fed by their Messiah.
It’s a story that fits so well in this first week of Easter.
The resurrection alone speaks of a love greater than any of us could ever imagine. The love of God poured out in his son who manifests that love by dying so that each of us would be able to join his father. But then God adds the most important postscript. Jesus rises from the dead and through his resurrection, we catch a glimpse of what our eternal life can be.
That’s about as powerful a love story as I can imagine. Yet, too many times in our lives, that love proves elusive. Too many times, the sustenance of that love, meant to strengthen us, does not sustain us. It seems not to feed us. It’s not because it is not there. It’s that we give up too easily. We don’t grasp it and wrap it around us. We don’t let the majesty of that love propel us forward.
As we look around our world though, we catch glimpses of how his love can be so powerful. We see it:
. . . In the strength of an abused spouse or child who has the courage to walk away and build a new life guided by people reaching out in love
. . . in the final breath of an elderly spouse holding the hand of their loved one as tears fall silently in gratitude for a life and love well spent
. . . in a moment of despair when we doubt ourselves and a friend reaches out to remind us that we are special, that we are strong and that we can get up and move on.
In the verses immediately following this Gospel, Jesus begins the conversation with Peter, asking him if he loves Jesus. It is a powerful scene, in which Peter is challenged three times, the same number as his denials, to declare his love for his teacher.
Isn’t that our story? Jesus asks us “ Do you love me? Will you follow me? Will you be my disciple? Will you let your love for me not only fill your heart but propel your actions, govern your words and share that with stranger and friend alike?
Will our answer be: “Yes Lord, I love you?” “Yes Lord, your love is the essence of my life”. “Yes Lord, my life reflects that love.”
Our answer will tell us on which side of the cross we live. Good Friday or Easter resurrection.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, open our minds to understand the Scriptures that we may fully comprehend the truth of your word. Anoint us with your power and give us joy and boldness to proclaim the Gospel in word and deed.”
When the disciples saw the risen Lord they disbelieved for joy! How can death lead to life, the cross to victory? Jesus shows us the way and he gives us the power to overcome sin and despair, and everything else that would stand in the way of his love and truth. Just as the first disciples were commissioned to bring the good news of salvation to all the nations, so, we, too, are called to be witnesses of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to all who live on the face of the earth