April 14th, 2023

The Holy Gospel according to John (21:1-14).

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.

Reflection:  Prior to Jesus’ resurrection, in the Gospel of Luke 5:1-11, Jesus tells the apostles, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.”  This was after the apostles had fished all night and caught nothing.  They did as instructed and caught a great number of fish.  Peter reacts by telling Jesus, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.”  In today’s Gospel, the apostles had returned to their former occupations as fishermen.  After fishing all night, they caught nothing.  Jesus is standing on the shore and instructs them to “cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”  The apostles did as they were instructed and caught a great number of fish.  When they realize it is the Lord, we see Peter jumping into the water and wading through it just to be near his Savior.  A very different reaction by Peter.  What was the difference? This encounter was with the resurrected Jesus.  Prior to the resurrection, Peter realized he was a sinful man and did not deserve to be in his presence.  He denied Jesus 3 times as Jesus made his way to Calvary.  Encountering the risen Christ changed Peter.  Not even his past denials could stifle his anticipation of being with Jesus.  Then the apostles have another meal with the risen Lord.  This meal was a morning brunch on the beach.  The risen Jesus gifts the apostles with a miraculous catch of fish, and then feeds them, nourishing them with food for body and spirit.  We also encounter the post resurrection Jesus and this encounter should change us.  We encounter our Lord in the mass, in his word, the Eucharist and the sacraments.  We also encounter our Lord in each other and in our environments.  

Action of the Day:  It is easy to recognize our Lord’s presence during the mass.  Today, pray for the grace to recognize the presence of the risen Lord outside of the mass.  When we do, thank God!  

Audio Reflection:

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