FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
April 21, 2017
EASTER FRIDAY – JESUS LIVES!
WORD of the DAY
After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberius. … 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. (John 21: 1-14)
The apostles had left their nets to follow the Lord and become fishers of men. After the days of the tremendous events of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord, they were upset by those tragic events and were very discouraged. There was nothing to do but to return to their ordinary life as fishermen on the lake, in the places where they had lived with the Lord. But they caught nothing that night and the nets drawn by the boat were empty, and were there to remind them of the failure of their hopes. When all seemed ended, Jesus comes in person to look for them with unchanged love, these His sheep, regardless of their flight and their betrayals on the way to Calvary.
All at once they hear a voice that is unmistakable: “Cast your nets!” even though they are tired and discouraged, they obey and “cast the nets on the right side of the boat”. They immediately recognize the unforgettable echo of the voice they had heard in the past along that lake that had gathered them. The catch is miraculous, abundant beyond imagining. Now they recognize the Lord. The efficacy of His Word opens their eyes and their heart. Now they understand better what the Master had often repeated to them: “Without me you can do nothing”. Only with Him does the impossible become possible!
It is always the disciple He loved who is the first to recognize the Risen One and he tells Peter, “It is the Lord!” On those shores of Tiberius the disciples experience communion with the Lord. Jesus has prepared with great tenderness a ‘charcoal fire with fish and bread’ for them and waits for the fish they miraculously caught. It is the banquet of the Risen one for His own!
The Voice of Albert-Marie Besnard, A Certain Jesus, in «Foi Vivente» 79 (1968)
This collection of remembrances and feelings is magnificently expressed in the account of the apparition of Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples’ boat nears the shore: they come back with no fish. A man calls to them from the shore and invites them to throw their nets once more and they do this. The fish are plentiful and John understands. He tells Peter, It is the Lord! These three words are enough so that Peter too understands and jumps into the water to reach the Teacher. “It is the Lord”. By now there is no other!