WelCom May 2022
Third Sunday of Easter – John 21: 1-19
1 Later on, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing.’ They replied, ‘We’ll come with you.’ They went out and got into the boat but caught nothing that night.
4 When it was already light, there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus called out, ‘Haven’t you caught anything, friends?’ And when they answered, ‘No,’ 6 he said, ‘Throw the net out to starboard and you’ll find something.’ So they threw the net out and could not haul it in because of the quantity of fish.
7 The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’ At these words, ‘It is the Lord,’ Simon Peter tied his outer garment round him and jumped into the sea. 8 The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net with the fish; they were only about a hundred yards from land. 9 As soon as they came ashore they saw that there was some bread there and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it.
10 Jesus said, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ 11 Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore, full of big fish, one hundred and fifty-three of them; and in spite of there being so many the net was not broken. 12 Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’
None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, ‘Who are you?’. They knew quite well it was the Lord. 13 Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. 14 This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.
15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ 16 A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He replied, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep.’ 17 Then he said to him a third time, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was hurt that he asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’ and said, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.
18 In all truth I tell you, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.’ 19 In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, ‘Follow me.’
Breakfast with Jesus
A reflection on John 21: 1-19
Dr Elizabeth Julian rsm
Breakfast on the beach with Jesus! What more could the disciples want! They were trying to restore some sense of normality by returning to Galilee and their usual occupations after a very tumultuous time in Jerusalem – including betrayal, denial, abandonment, hiding in fear. Now they’ve had a bad night’s fishing and a stranger on the shore advises them to do things differently. Instant success! And here is Jesus – no longer a stranger – cooking breakfast for them. But who’s missing? There are seven male disciples, a number symbolic of completeness.
What about Mary Magdalene? Shouldn’t she be there? After all, she was the one to whom the Risen Jesus appeared first and commissioned to tell the Good News; the one, along with the other women, whom the men did not believe, claiming the news was nonsense. Perhaps Mary was too busy doing what she was commissioned to do, to be at breakfast?
So, when we look around today whether it be at a family or parish gathering or a Sunday Eucharist, who’s missing and why? Whose voices are not being heard? What can we do about it? What are we being asked to do differently today?
The early morning beach gathering around the charcoal fire must surely have reminded Peter of that other charcoal fire, around which he denied three times that he even knew Jesus! Now he is asked three times if he loves Jesus. He, and presumably those with him are tasked with feeding and looking after the sheep and lambs. And that is our task as disciples today.
So who and how are we going to feed and look after today? It may be as simple as Catherine McAuley would say, with ‘a kind word, a gentle look and the patient hearing of sorrows?’ Or it may be a beach clean-up followed by breakfast.