Confidence Amidst Weaknesses


5 May 2019. Third Sunday of Easter

Reflection (Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco)

The Gospel reading speaks about Jesus revealing Himself to His disciples at the sea of Tiberias for the third time. (The first time happened on the evening of His resurrection without Thomas, and the second happened a week after when Thomas was already present.) What captured my thoughts while reading the Gospel is Peter.

The character of Peter in the Gospel fascinates me, most particularly his attitude. Peter is known to have such an impulsive character. We can recall that when the Lord asked Him about who do the people think about Him, he confidently declared that He was the Messiah. But just a little moment passed that when Jesus was talking about His imminent passion and death, Peter got rebuked by our Lord for telling Him that He should not suffer and die. In another instance, when the disciples where on the boat at the sea, Jesus came to them walking on the waters. Peter, recognizing the Lord, asked if He could join the Lord on the waters. But after just a short while, when he noticed the strong winds and waves he was frightened and sank. He also showed his dose of impulsiveness when during Jesus’ Transfiguration at Mt. Tabor, Peter, in his astonishment of what he had just witnessed, volunteered that they would put up tents for Jesus, Elijah and Moses. We can also recall the epic moment when He promised our Lord during the Passover supper that if needed to, he would lay his life for Him. But just after a few hours passed, he denied our Lord thrice. There are many other instances of Peter’s display of his impetuosity.

I am drawn to Peter’s character because despite this great weakness which marked his life, he still had the heart with great confidence to our Lord. He surely has known how merciful this Lord is so as to be the first disciple to inspect the empty tomb (even outrunning John, who is a lot younger, on their way) when it was also he who has denied our Lord. He surely has grown in great trust with our merciful Lord when he did not let his great sin stand in the way of his great longing to see Him after the Resurrection. He surely was so confident in Jesus’ mercy when he accepted the great responsibility for the Church that Jesus conferred on him despite his weaknesses. He should be known more as a man of great confidence rather than an imprudent one.

May God grant me the grace of that same confidence in Jesus.

The Gospel Today
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.”


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