May the splendor of Christ risen from the dead fill your hearts and minds!
The Easter Season is a time of grace, conversion and consolation from the Lord! I know that many of us are experiencing special gifts of grace that make change possible at this time.
In the first reading the disciples are speaking and doing things in the name of Jesus. Peter and John had just recently healed a crippled beggar. The authorities are offended and upset about publicizing Jesus’ name because they executed him. Who are the authorities in our day who oppose public prayer or recognition of God as source of life and love? Who are the ones who speak out in the name of Jesus regardless of the opposition? The disciples felt honored to have suffered for the sake of the name of Jesus, what do you do with your discomforts, inconveniences and suffering?
The Gospel reading takes us to the sea shore and the story of the great catch of fish. In this story, John, as the one who loves, is the first to recognize Jesus—love is always the first to believe! Peter jumps out of the boat again. The net is dragged to shore but doesn’t tear. Jesus feeds them again which is the third time Jesus shows his presence in the Eucharist since he rose from the dead. And Peter is fully reconciled to Jesus then gifted with his mission to follow Jesus.
That is a lot to unpack! I will just say that the net signifies the Gospel with its capacity and power to gather people of every language and culture into an unbreakable unity of faith and love. This is at the heart of the mission of the Church. Peter’s reconciliation with Jesus empowers him to be a reconciler between the human race and God. Forgiveness of sins brings salvation to the whole world and Peter has a special role to play in it! You and I have a special role to play in our giving testimony to the great things God has done for us! Like the disciples, let us do it with joy, confidence and in a most congenial way! May God bless you always! +++ Fr. Peter