Photo illustration by Phil Younk
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Jesus helps apostles bring in large catch

Based on 2 Sam 12:7-10, 13; Gal 2:16, 19-21; Gospel of Lk 7:36-8:3

A surprise breakfast at the seashore and another visit with Jesus after his Resurrection! That’s what Peter and the other disciples enjoy in this Sunday’s Gospel.

Out fishing all night, the disciples caught nothing. At morning, following Jesus’ instructions to cast out their net, the catch is larger than expected. Reaching shore, Peter and the disciples see Jesus has lit a fire and cooked a breakfast of fish and bread for them.

After breakfast, Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Each time, Peter answers, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

This scene – a fire, three questions and three responses – recalls, at the time of Jesus’ arrest, Peter’s earlier denials of knowing Jesus. After those denials, Peter “wept bitterly” (Lk 22:61, 62).

Jesus gives Peter another chance to show his love. He tells Peter, “Feed my lambs.… Tend my sheep…. Feed my sheep,” for he wants Peter to be the leader of his church and wants him to share this love and faith with all people. Jesus warns him this will cost him his life, but he says to Peter, “Follow me.”

This Gospel gives us several things to think about:

  • Jesus’ appearance is more proof to the disciples that he’s not a ghost.
  • The large catch of fish symbolizes the great number of people who will be brought into the church.
  • The disciples recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread when he “took the bread and gave it to them.”
  • The conversation between Jesus and Peter highlights Peter’s love for Jesus, and Jesus’ love for and trust in Peter as “the Rock” upon which Jesus’ church is to be built. Peter becomes the first pope.

Each Sunday at Mass, Jesus offers us nourishment: we listen to the Scriptures and we receive his Body and Blood in Communion.

Lord Jesus, help us to grow in your love and show our love for you by our words and actions.