3rd Sunday of Easter
Acts 5:27–32, 40b–41
When the captain and the court officers had brought the apostles in and made them stand before the Sanhedrin, the high priest questioned them, “We gave you strict orders, did we not, to stop teaching in that name? Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles said in reply, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” The Sanhedrin ordered the apostles to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. So, they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.
I, John, looked and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing.” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: “To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.” The four living creatures answered, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Gospel: John 21:1–19
At that time, 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. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”
DO YOU RECOGNIZE JESUS? It took time for the disciples to know Jesus at the shore. In fact, he was around for some time even before he had a dialogue with the disciples (he had made a charcoal fire already). Who recognized him? The “Disciple whom Jesus Loved”. Though not explicitly said, one condition to recognize the Lord was LOVE. It is only in love we can recognize the other as he or she is. If no love, we will fail to recognize the person. We celebrate and participate in the Holy Eucharist often. Do you recognize the Risen Lord in the Eucharist? Do you recognize Him in the Christian community that prays with you? Do you recognize Him in the person of the priest? Let us ask the Risen Lord to give the grace to Recognize him the Holy Eucharist and in our brothers and sisters.
RESURRECTION: A GIFT FOR ALL: Jesus rose from the dead for the good of all human beings. His resurrection is meant to benefit all people, and that is why he established his Church to bring people to enjoy the fruit of the resurrection, which is eternal life through him. To make it clear to the Apostles that he rose for the sake of all people, he appeared to Peter and other disciples by the sea of Tiberius. That night the Apostles had not caught any fish. So now Jesus took charge of the fishing expedition and ordered the Apostles to cast the net over the right side of the boat. When they did that, they caught one hundred and fifty-three large fish (John 21:11). Why that figure or number? Well, St. Jerome says that Greek zoologists catalogued one hundred and fifty-three species of fish in the world. So, one hundred and fifty-three species of fish is meant to have a symbolic meaning in relation to the Apostles’ universal mission. Peter is the one who dragged the net ashore as a sign that after Jesus, he is that second in command (John 21:11). Peter is the one who will lead the other Apostles to bring the gift of the resurrection to all different peoples in the world. The gift itself is to believe in the risen Lord, do his will and finally attain eternal life through him.
Prayer: Lord, help your Church to embrace the whole of humanity.
JESUS LOVES YOU: After the events of the crucifixion and death of Jesus, the disciples seemed to have conceded defeat. They returned to the lake where Jesus found them; there, they resort to their previous lives and occupations as fishermen (cf. Lk 5:1ff.). Peter, still kept some sort of leadership and influence over the group and he dragged them back along with him. Hence, the other disciples chose follow Peter and do something productive for them and their families. In summary, they lost hope. In such a state of touching the bottom of their lives, when everything seemed to be lost and there was no way forward rather than going back to the starting point, is when Jesus appeared to them and invites them to return to their first love: “Do you love me?” Jesus loved them and bet for them; He knew their love (cf. Rev 2:19). The resurrection is the God´s prove of love; He will be there always renewing his commitment and option for humanity; his loving call to you will never be withdrawn, not even because of your sin. You know it, Jesus loves you; do you love him?