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Gospel text (Jn 21,1-14):
Jesus revealed himself to the disciples by the Lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, "I'm going fishing". They replied, "We will come with you", and they went out and got into the boat. But they caught nothing that night.
When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus called them, "Children, have you anything to eat?". They answered, "Nothing". Then He said to them, "Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find some". When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish. Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, "It's the Lord!". At these words, «It's the Lord», Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred meters.
When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you've just caught". So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish —one hundred and fifty-three— but, in spite of this, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast", and not one of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?", for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after rising from the dead.
"This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to his disciples after rising from the dead"
Today, for the third time, Jesus reveals himself to his disciples after his rising. Peter has gone back to his old fisherman job and the others have decided to join him. It stands to logic that, if he was a fisherman before following Jesus, afterwards, he gets back to his old job; and there still are those who are surprised to see that it is not necessary to leave one's honest work to follow Christ.
That night they caught nothing! And when the day breaks and Jesus appears, they do not recognize him until He asks them for something to eat. When they tell him they have nothing, He just points out where they are to throw their net. And, even though fishermen seem to know all the answers and they had spent the night to no avail, they obey him. "O the power of the obedience. The lake of Tiberias was refusing its fish to Peter's nets. An entire night in vain. —But now, obedient, he returns the net to the water and they caught (...) a full load of fish. —Believe me: the miracle repeats itself daily" (Saint Josemaria).
The Evangelist points out "It was full of big fish —one hundred and fifty-three" (Jn 21:11) but, in spite of being so many, the net was not torn. These are details to bear in mind, as Redemption, amid normal work, takes place with responsible obedience.
They all "knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them" (Jn 21:12-13). He did the same with the fish. If we obey him we shall not lack either the spiritual or the material food. He taught this to his closest followers and John Paul II said it too: "When starting the new millennium, our heart reverberates with those words with which Jesus (...) invited the Apostle to put out into the deep, and let down the nets for a catch: ‘Duc in altum’ (Lk 5:4). Peter and the first disciples trusted Christ's word (…) and when they had this done, ‘they enclosed a great multitude of fishes’ (Lk 5:6). This word resounds for us to day too".
With our obedience —like Our Lady Mary's obedience— we ask the Lord to go on giving his Church his apostolic fruits.
Fr. Joaquim MONRÓS i Guitart
Audio: Easter Friday (Octave of Easter)
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