Today’s Thoughts: “A Christian can never be sad! Never give way to discouragement! Ours is not a joy born of having many possessions, but from having encountered a Person: Jesus, in our midst; it is born from knowing that with him we alone, even at difficult moments, even when our life’s journey comes up against problems and obstacles that seem insurmountable, and there are so many of them! And in this moment, the enemy, the devil, comes, often disguised as an angel, and slyly speaks his word to us. Do not listen to him! Let us follow Jesus!” (Pope Francis)
In our First Reading today we encounter the jealous religious leaders confronting Peter and the others with their being disobedient to the previous orders to be silent.
After reviewing how Jesus had been silenced by being hanged on a cross at the hands of these very leaders, Peter and the others leave in high spirits, because they have been proven worthy by being treated in almost the same way as Jesus. In other words, they know they are on the right path.
The Gospel today provides us with a touching scene. Peter and his companions decide to return to the life from which Jesus had called them, fishing. Now Jesus, who had told them at the washing of their feet that apart from him they could do nothing, so it is nothing that they do. They fish all night and catch nothing. Dawn comes and the Great Fisherman appears and with him they catch a boat load of fish.
In this Resurrection encounter we have one of John’s favorite themes, bad things happen at night and Jesus the light does great things during the daylight. They come to the realization that it is the Lord and the catch becomes secondary, at least for a while.
As the scene continues, we encounter their reunion with Jesus at the breakfast. Peter who warmed himself by a charcoal fire while betraying Jesus, is now invited to bring some of his catch to be cooked on the charcoal fire where Jesus was already cooking fish and bread. The scene is thick with tension as Peter and the others are not sure how to act or what to say. Jesus breaks the tension by distributing the bread and fish to them. Earlier in their relationship, Jesus had taken loaves and fish to distribute to them and many others. This scene ends with that symbolic gesture of reconciliation. They know who he is in the sharing of the bread.
Finally, our Gospel scene focuses in on the recommitment of Peter and his missioning by Jesus. Peter is invited to follow Jesus once more and this time for keeps. Our scene ends with Peter's following Jesus to a life which will imitate that of Jesus even to the manner of his death.
Jesus had a challenging habit of meeting people where they would rather not be met. A person who has been fishing does not want anybody to ask, “How many fish?” When none have been caught, when the nets are empty. Jesus meets his friends today fishless.
After the Resurrection, Jesus went about connecting with his friends, both women and men, in the social and spiritually awkward settings. He continues doing the same thing in our lives. He wants to know what is going on inside of us. He does not check what we have but where our lives are empty. He emptied himself by living his whole life even to his last breath. He emptied his tomb to fill our emptiness through the gift of his Eucharistic presences.
Have a great Sunday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...