Friday - Easter Time
1) Opening prayer
God and Father,
through our risen Lord, your Son Jesus Christ,
you have given us a message of hope
and a person to live for.
Free our faith from triviality and routine
and fill us with his Spirit of courage,
that we may learn to live
with the insecurities of the change of renewal
ever-demanded by the gospel
and by the needs of the times.
May our Christian living bear witness
to the name of him by whom we are saved,
Jesus Christ, our risen Lord.
2) Gospel Reading - John 21, 1-14
Later on, Jesus revealed himself
again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like
this: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the
sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together. 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. When it was already light, there
stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realise that it was
Jesus. Jesus called out, 'Haven't you caught anything, friends?' And when they
answered, 'No,' 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.
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 (for he had nothing on) and jumped into the water.
The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net with the fish; they
were only about a hundred yards from land.
As soon as they came ashore they
saw that there was some bread there and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on
it. Jesus said, 'Bring some of the fish you have just caught.' 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. 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.
Jesus then stepped forward, took
the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. This was the third
time that Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.
Chapter 21 of the Gospel of Saint John seems like an appendix which was added
later after the Gospel had already been written. The conclusion of the previous
chapter (Jn 20, 30-31) makes one perceive that it is an addition. However,
whether it is an addition or not, it is the Word of God which presents us the
beautiful message of the Resurrection on this fifth day of Easter week.
John 21, 1-3: The fisherman of men returns to be a fisherman of fish. Jesus
has died and has risen. At the end of three years of life together with Jesus,
the disciples returned toward Galilee. A group of them find themselves together
before the lake. Peter goes back to the past and says: “I am going fishing!” The
others answer: “We will come with you!” Thus, Thomas, Nathanael, John and James
together with Peter go to the boat to go fishing. They go back to the life of
the past as if nothing had happened. But something did happen. Something was
taking place! The past did not return! “We have caught nothing!” They go back
to the shore, tired. This had been a night filled with frustration.
John 21, 4-5: The context of the new apparition of Jesus. Jesus was on
the shore, but they did not recognize him. Jesus asks: “Little children,
have you anything to eat?” They answered: “No!” In the negative response
they realize that the night had been deceiving because they had caught nothing,
no fish. They had been called to be fishermen of men (Mk 1, 17; Lk 5, 10), and
they go back to be fishermen of fish. But something had changed in their life!
The experience of three years with Jesus produces in them an irreversible
change. It was no longer possible to return to the past as if nothing had
happened, as if nothing had changed.
John 21, 6-8: “Throw the net out to the right of the boat and you will find
something” They did something which perhaps they had never done in their
life. Five experienced fishermen obey a foreigner who orders them to do
something which is in contrast to their experience. Jesus, that unknown person,
who is on the shore, orders them to throw the net on the right side of the
boat. They obey; they throw the net, and behold the unexpected result. The net
was full of fish! How was this possible! How to explain this surprise so
unexpected, unforeseen! Love makes one discover. The beloved disciple says: “It
is the Lord”. This intuition clarifies everything. Peter jumped into the water
to get close to Jesus very quickly. The other disciples follow him, pulling the
boat, and dragging the net full of fish.
John 21, 9-14: The kindness of Jesus. Coming ashore, they saw a charcoal
fire which had been lit by Jesus, where he was roasting fish and bread. He asked
them to take some of the fish they had caught and immediately Peter went to the
boat and towed the net containing one hundred and fifty fish. A great number of
fish and the net did not break. Jesus calls the multitude: “Come and eat!” He
had the kindness to prepare something to eat after a deceiving night during
which they had caught nothing. A very simple gesture which reveals something of
God’s love for us. “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14, 9). None
of the disciples was bold enough to ask, Who are you, because they knew he was
the Lord. And recalling the Eucharist, John, the Evangelist contemplates:
“Jesus stepping forward took the bread and gave it to them”. Thus, he suggests
that the Eucharist is the privileged place for the encounter with the Risen
4) Personal questions
Has it ever happened to you that someone has told you to throw the net to the
right side of your life, to do something contrary to your experience? Have you
obeyed? Have you thrown in the net?
The kindness of Jesus. How is your kindness in the small things of life?
5) Concluding Prayer
Give thanks to Yahweh for he is
for his faithful love endures for
Let those who fear Yahweh say,
'His faithful love endures for