After all the happenings and events in Jerusalem, I can imagine the Lord’s followers going back to their former lives. The Lord is risen, but is gone again and so, what else are they going to do except to go back to where they came from. Seven of them, including Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John and two other disciples went to accompany Peter fishing (Gospel, Jn.21: 1-19). They must have tried and tried but caught nothing that night. Were they rusty having been away from this work? Or were there just no fish there in the Sea of Tiberias?
It was a long, tiring night and by dawn,
Jesus was standing on the shore but they didn’t recognize Him. Jesus asked them
if they have caught anything and they answered “No.” So Jesus said to them, “Cast
the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.”
So they cast it, and true enough, there was quite a number of fish. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved was the first who recognized that “It is the Lord.” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he jumped into the sea. All the other disciples climbed out of the boat on shore, and they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Then 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.
All of you are tired and then surprise, the Lord came by the beach who you don’t recognize at first. He pointed where to dip the net and harvest, grilled fish over charcoal and prepared bread too. Must be a quite a whiff of fresh air for the exhausted and weary disciples seeing the Lord with a bountiful meal at the seashore. It is in awesome moments like this that you feel like there’s a superhero coming to save your sagging fortunes and turn the tide over. Yes, aside from restoring their confidence and faith in the Lord through the several appearances before and then this moment, they now realize that the Lord is slowly but surely getting them back to their missions.
After breakfast, the Lord said, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than
Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” Then Jesus asked the same question again and again, and Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” Three times the Lord asked Simon Peter, and Simon Peter answered Jesus three times, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” The slate is clean. After denying Jesus three times, Simon Peter was able to tell the Lord of his love three times. These commands indicate that Peter is to be the leader just doing the things that Jesus did, even to the extent of sacrificing for the flock. In the same manner as Jesus has fed Peter and the disciples in this breakfast meal and as Jesus feeds us in the Holy Eucharist, so He also asks us to respond to His calling so that He can send us to the world, that in our own way we offer our lives in service and sacrifice for His mission.
It’ll be challenging and at times will entail sacrifice and suffering, but like the disciples brought to the Sanhedrin (First Reading Acts 5: 27-32, 40b-41), may we rejoice to find ourselves worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of Jesus. May we be inspired by the Easter experience of the disciples, that their experience may also be ours. May we be confident of Jesus’ living presence in our ministries, for what we are doing is His, not ours. May we truly be living witnesses of Christ as we follow His calling to “tend” and “feed His sheep.”
“I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.!” (Ps. 30: 2a)