From the desk of Ms. Kathleen Cook, Director of Religious Education
Theme: John 21:1-19 Jesus appears to the disciples for a third time after his Resurrection and shares a meal with them.
Summary: There are many things that are mentioned in this very short segment of Saint John’s gospel: the authenticity of the Resurrection, a glimpse of a group of men set adrift now that Jesus is no longer with them, and an opportunity for Peter to recant his denial of Jesus and to become chief witness and leader of the emerging Church. Just as Saint Peter was given a chance to redeem himself from his denial and his lack of witness, so too are we given chances by God, who lovingly calls us back time and again.
Scripture: He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. John 21:5-6
Several of Jesus’ disciples were gathered beside the Sea of Galilee. The group included Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, and James and John, the sons of Zebedee.
Suddenly, Peter said, “I’m going fishing.”
“We’ll come too,” the others said. So they got in the boat and they fished all night, but caught nothing.”
As the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but the disciples couldn’t make out who it was. Jesus called out to them, “Have you caught any fish?”
“Not a thing,” the disciples called back.
“Throw your nets on the right-hand side of the boat and you’ll catch some!”
They caught so many fish that they couldn’t even pull the net into the boat!
Then the disciple that Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Peter heard that, he jumped into the water and headed for shore. The others stayed with the boat and dragged the loaded net to the shore. When they got there, they found Jesus cooking breakfast — fish over a charcoal fire and some bread.
“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. Peter dragged the net to the shore and there were 153 large fish. “Now, come and have some breakfast,” Jesus said. Then Jesus served them fish and bread.
Father, we know that you have wonderful blessings in store for us when we faithfully follow our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our prayer is that we will always be obedient disciples. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
My Promise to Jesus: The fish is a symbol for all Christians. I will draw a beautiful fish to put in my prayer corner, or give to someone as a gift.
Reflect: If a word or phrase from the Gospel captures your heart, sit quietly for several minutes, repeating it to yourself and asking God to show you how it applies to your life.
Or reflect and possibly journal on the following question: What places in your life are messy because of sin and need cleaning up this Easter?
Suggested book that compliments today’s Gospel:
Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth
Written by Ann Rockwell
Family Discussion: Today’s Gospel describes what we can easily imagine as a picnic on the beach. Just as Jesus’ miracle at the wedding feast at Cana blesses the love between man and woman celebrated in the sacrament of marriage, Jesus’ attentiveness to food and mealtimes raises the possibility that our meal gatherings can be sacred times. In families, the domestic church, our meals together are everyday opportunities to gather and recall Jesus’ presence with us. As in the Eucharist, we bring the gifts that God has given us, which have been prepared especially for our Mass, and at our family meals we share gifts that God has given to us and that we have worked together to prepare. This includes the food on the table and also the people who gather around the table. We ask God to bless these gifts and to be present among us in all of our interactions.
Consider a recent family meal: What food was served? Where did the food come from? Who prepared the food? Who served the food? Was mealtime a happy time? Why or why not? Observe that today’s Gospel tells about a meal that Jesus shared with his disciples after his Resurrection. Read aloud today’s Gospel, John 21:1-14. Reflect on the Gospel reading using the questions above. Talk about ways in which this meal that Jesus shared with his disciples might remind us of the meal we share at the Eucharist. You might choose to plan a special meal together as a family, encouraging each person to participate in the meal preparation. Pray together that Jesus will make his loving presence known in your family life. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer.