April 25, 2014

The Gospel Today

Friday in the Octave of Easter

John 21:1-14

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.

Reflection (Sem. Enrico Terrel):

     In the Gospel narrative, Simon Peter and six other disciples of Jesus went fishing in the Sea of Tiberias. They spent the whole night in the sea but they caught nothing. It is good to note that they are fishermen even before they met Jesus. They ought to know their profession really well. However, their experience shows that knowledge of one’s craft does not always guarantee success. Rather, it is only God who truly provides prosperity and great yield to those who trust in Him. In the narrative, Jesus showed this truth when He instructed His disciples to cast their nets on the right side of the boat. What was remarkable on the part of the disciples was their act of trusting the man whom they have not yet recognized as Jesus at that point. Having done everything they could but to no avail, they must have thought that they could no longer rely on themselves particularly on their skill. Therefore, why not trust this man who at the very least has the concern to ask how they are doing? It was in their act of letting go of themselves and letting God to fill up whatever is lacking in their effort that abundance happens.

     I remember when I was preparing my philosophical synthesis paper during my second year of formation in the seminary. I really had a difficult time conceptualizing what topic I would be researching and writing about that I had headaches. After some weeks of fruitless efforts, I felt hopeless to the point that I thought that I would end up not being able to complete my thesis and being sent out of the seminary. However, it was in prayer that I was able to express all my concerns and anxieties to God. I told Him that I do not know what would happen to me if my fears would be realized. Nevertheless, God responded to me that I ought not to be afraid. God called me to trust in Him. In fact, He actually led me to discover my topic and the sources that I would be using during my vacation. Eventually, I was able to accomplish my thesis well because of God’s providence coupled with my active cooperation with His grace.

     If there is one thing that we can be assured of, that is the truth that God is someone whom we can trust and rely on regardless of the situation. There is no matter that is too trivial for Him to be concerned. He will always look for ways and opportunities to manifest His concern for His beloved people. What we should pray for is the grace to be keen and sensitive to His works so that when that moment comes, we can say: “It is the Lord!

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