April 5, 2013
John 21: 1-14
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn.
Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Towards the beginning of the Gospel of John, Jesus’ first words addressed to his soon-to-be disciples were “come and you will see.” Now, towards the very end of his time on earth, his invitation to them is “come and have breakfast.” Breakfast: the first meal of the day; breaking fast from the long and empty night; filling the hunger, the emptiness, the void left by the night with sustenance and energy for a new day.
“I am going fishing,” Peter had declared . . . and immediately the other disciples had responded, “we will come with you.” Was this to escape from the pain induced by the death and disappearance of Jesus? Or to distract themselves from the emptiness caused by his absence? Perhaps this was even a desperate attempt to re-live the past, to remember, to re-create the presence of Jesus. After all, wasn’t it whilst fishing when Simon and his brother Andrew first encountered their Lord?
And to these beleaguered disciples striving to put some meaning into their empty lives—and, no less, to us today—Jesus simply says, “come and have breakfast.” At first glance, hardly the most resounding Easter proclamation; and yet, such an apt one. “Come and have breakfast”—which is to say: the night is over, morning has broken, a new and eternal day has begun.
—Fr. Charles Rodrigues, S.J. is Associate Novice Director at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado, St. Paul MN
Lord, if we ever doubt your desire to forgive us, help us to recall your greeting to your friends, “Peace be with You.” You could have addressed them with the harshest condemnation. After all many abandoned you and gave up on your promise. Lord, help me to really believe that you greet me with peace no matter my condition in life.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
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