April 1, 2016

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. Leonides Jimmy Jesuro, III)


Our gospel today narrates the appearance of Jesus Christ after His resurrection to His Seven Disciples. The disciples, led by Peter,go fishing. However, that night they catch nothing,until Jesus Christ appears to them on the shore and they are in the boat. He instructs“Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something” (John 21:6). They follow Jesus’ words and they are blessed with a big catch of fish.

After such a miracle, it is John, the closest friend of Jesus, who first recognizes Him. When you love a person, you can easily recognize him or her by the voice, gestures, mannerisms, and even by the haircut. I have this foolish act of calling my closest friends using a different mobile phone and initiating conversation using another voice. After an exchange of few lines, my friends identify me and I start laughing, hence the end of my gag. May be because of their familiarity with me and due to our emotional attachment, they can recognize my total person despite the change of voice. You can easily recognize a friend through Love. 

They are invited to have breakfast at the shore. It is strange that Jesus already has fish since none have yet been ashore. This may bring us to the reality that Christ is the true Eucharist; He makes all things possible whenever and wherever He likes it to be done, like in the gospel today when He “came over and took the bread, gave it to them, and in like manner the fish” (John 21:13).

In addition, Christ personifies a Pastor who is at the service of His flock. I remember a story of one active Archbishop here in our country whose simplicity and being service-oriented are remarkable. In his residence, he accommodated some guests who went to see him for a proposed project in his ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The guests were surprised to see the Archbishop approaching the living room with the food tray on his hands and refreshments for them ready to serve. What a humble act of service from a loving and caring Pastor of the Church!

I realize that as a seminarian, I am invited to be service-oriented at all times, especially since it will be expected of me in my future priestly ministry. As I go higher in my formation, the more that I am expected to render service to my community. I only need to strike a balance in my willingness to serve others, to answer their needs and not my own.

As we continue to celebrate Easter, let us consider this season as an appropriate time to renew our commitment to service and charity to others. Jesus Christ has risen to serve us once again through the Holy Spirit, the gift He leaves for the whole Church until the end of time.

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