Readings: Acts 5:27-32, 40-41; Rev 5:11-14; Jn 21:1-19
Come have breakfast, mission and persecution are the key words that sum up the central message of this Sunday. The readings focus on the stewardship of hospitality which is much part of evangelization. Extending hospitality establishes trust and prepares the ground for proclamation. In Jesus’ compassion and care for his disciples who have struggled all night to find fish is a prelude for what he is about to do on the shore. “Children, have you caught anything to eat?”
In the Gospel, the risen Lord appears once more to his disciples by the sea of Tiberias. They had been fishing all night but had caught nothing. It was now in the morning. Suddenly someone on the shore tells them to throw the nets to the right of the boat in order to catch something. Having done that, they had such a great catch of fish, that John the beloved disciple realized that it was the Lord. There are three scenes in this passage. In the first scene the risen Lord as a steward of hospitality gives a second chance to the disciples to catch fish, prepares a meal and invites them to eat saying: “Come have breakfast.” That meal becomes like a second chance and a renewal of the disciples’ resurrection faith in Jesus Christ. In fact that renewal starts already at the miraculous catch of fish as John tells Peter, “It is the Lord.” At this meal, all the memories of shared meals come back and above all the sacrifice on Calvary is still very fresh. They even remember how they denied him and ran away. Here was a second chance to renew their commitment to Jesus. Every Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is a second chance to renew our commitment and faith in Jesus Christ as we share his Sacrificial Meal that He prepares for us. The second scene is the mission of Peter. Jesus asks Peter a threefold question, “Do you love me?” in order to give Peter a second chance to reverse his threefold denial. A wonderful forgiveness takes place here as Peter responds each time “I do Lord” and Jesus telling him each time “Feed my sheep.” In other words, Peter has to show that love in action by feeding and caring for Christ’s flock. The third scene is about Peter’s death. Jesus foretells his martyrdom, which from the Greek means witness. Peter and all the disciples would indeed die as martyrs because of their witness to Christ. The take away message this Sunday is threefold. 1) The Sacrifice of the Holy Mass, like the meal at the lake shore is a second chance for our renewal and recommitment to Christ. 2) Through our baptism Christ challenges us like Peter to show our love for Christ by feeding and nurturing Christ’s flock by our action and deeds. 3) As stewards of hospitality, we too are challenged to be witnesses to the point of dying for our faith.
©2016 John S. Mbinda