Daily Reflection – 4/14/2023
After this, 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)
Th is the third time that Jesus appears to His Apostles after the Resurrection
The scene initially is not a happy one. Feeling alone and confused after his death, the Apostles had returned to the path of their previous lives. Unfortunately, going back and seeking elusive comfort in the past didn’t work: They caught no fish.
Then, in the morning, Jesus appeared on the shore, but they did not realize it was Him. He then gave them a simple command to cast their net off the right side of the boat. And they caught so many fish they could not pull them in.
This catch of fish was much more than just a favor from Jesus to help them with their work. It was highly symbolic.
The central symbolism is that Jesus was giving the Apostles a new calling. They would no longer be fishing just for fish, rather, they were now to fish for souls. And the important part is that if they attempted to do this by their own efforts, they would come up empty handed. If, however, they did it at the Lord’s command, in His way, within His timing, then their efforts would provide an abundance of good fruit. They are shown the real path they are called to embark upon
It is written that the Early Church remembered this important encounter because they saw themselves in this exchange. And we should too. For no matter how intensely we may feel we love the Lord, we are always subject to the same moments of weakness and failure that the Apostles did.
How important it is that we remember that the love of God is greater than our ability to deserve it or live up to it.
Then there is this conversation between Jesus and Peter which captures two critical and essential events: the restoration of Peter. In his denial before the crucifixion, Peter stated that he did not want to die. He loved the things of this world more than he wanted to follow Jesus. That is the challenge we all must face. What is important for us? Do we like Jesus, or do we love him? There is a critical difference.
When Jesus talks to his disciples, to us, about loving him, he’s talking about something more than ordinary friendship, even more than familial commitment or love between spouses. He is talking about our loving him the same way he loves the Father.
The love between Jesus and the Father is a mutual devotion born of their identification with one another. In Jesus’ relationship with the Father, obedience has nothing to do with rules. It’s about loving one another and sharing the same desire. That’s what Jesus is talking about in this reading. He’s not telling the disciples to obey rules, he’s inviting them to share his heart.
The opening line of today’s Gospel is “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” That’s a request for love. All that Jesus did in his life was aimed at that one thing: to entice humanity into falling in love with God, and the way to do that is through loving him.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, may I always understand that your act of redemption doesn’t end just with the forgiveness of my sins. It ends with my heart changed and willing to forgive and even to serve those who have wronged me. Allow me to spread your charism of love everywhere.
Jesus repeatedly asks all of us, not just Peter, “Do you love me?” How might we exhibit this love? If we attempt to answer “yes,” then we must accept to serve others. “Feed my lambs and sheep” means we must care for each other, as a sign of Jesus’ love in us .It’s not always easy to follow Jesus. But the very act of trying to do so is what gives meaning and direction