Reflection on the Scriptures: Third Sunday of Easter Gospel C Encountering Jesus

By 10:41 AM

 Third Sunday of Easter Gospel C

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.

· This is another name for the Sea of Galilee.

· This would be the third recorded Easter appearance of Jesus to the Apostles according to John. The first two were in Jerusalem. This is in Galilee just as Jesus had told the women to tell the disciples. But if we combined all the Easter appearances found in the four Gospels, we will see there were more than three.

 He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. 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. 

· Notice again the similarity of a previous time the disciples fished all night and had caught nothing until Jesus joined them. Can we relate to this in our own lives?

· Like other Easter appearances Jesus is not recognized because the risen body is different.

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.”  

· Notice the change of address for Jesus after the resurrection. “It is the Lord.” Why do you think they so address Jesus?

·        Recall that this was the same direction Jesus had given them at their initial encounter.

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. 

· What is the significance of Peter’s reaction?

·        At the first miraculous catch, Peter fell on his knees, acknowledging that he was a sinner.          Now he can’t wait to be with the Lord.

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. 

· The risen Lord’s appearance is different from the previous ways they had known him. But they recognize the voice and the actions.  In faith they knew it was Jesus.

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. When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 

· Why did Jesus ask Peter the same question three times? Do you think it has anything to do with the triple denial of Jesus by Peter during the arrest scene?

· Imagine yourself in Peter’s place and listen in your heart to the same three questions to you by Jesus. What is your response?

Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

· According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside down in Rome.

· This was the second time Jesus told Peter to follow him. The first was at the same Sea when Jesus first encountered Peter and invited him to become a fisher of men. Peter followed but was not yet ready to give himself totally to Jesus. Is the same thing true in our lives? We have heard an initial call and followed Jesus but now we are fully ready to follow him no matter what. This is the response Jesus is looking for.

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