Sunday Gospel Lectio Divina for Third Sunday of Easter
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
At that time, Jesus revealed himself to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias.
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.
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.”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord,
he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad,
and jumped into the sea.
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.
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.
“We also will come with you.”
With Jesus gone, Peter is already seen as the leader of the apostles. He said he was going fishing and the apostles followed him. Bishops of the Church follow the pope in similar fashion to this day. What the pope is doing may not even be all that significant, but to join him in doing it shows catholic unity. It’s not just about obedience. It’s also about oneness. It’s a response to Jesus’ prayer to the Father, that we may all be one. Who knows what great things will happen when we come together as one universal Church? Peter and the apostles had no idea they were going to meet Jesus on the seashore. But Jesus took advantage of the opportunity because they were together, and so he knew the significance of the encounter would be multiplied by the number of apostles present. Seeing them together must have brought joy to Jesus. Seeing that they had not all scattered was a sign of hope. At the very least, they had all become friends through their shared time with Jesus. Of course, their friendship would come to be much more than that, but this shared moment after Jesus’ resurrection shows the power in sticking together no matter how hard times get.
that night they caught nothing
You could be working hard at something and it may seem like it’s bearing no fruit. It could seem like you’re just running in place, wasting your time. This is when your faithfulness will be most important. It’s when we’re most down and out, catching nothing for all our efforts, that something good happens. Just at the point where just about everyone else has given up, if you stick with it, you will see Jesus on the seashore. Jesus said, unless a seed dies it remains just a seed. In a sense, this means unless we push ourselves to the point where we have nothing left to give, we will never reap the benefits we seek. So often we want to find an easy way out, an easy path to success, quick money, quick results. But life doesn’t work that way. Jesus was always pointing to nature, saying learn from the fields, the trees, the seeds, the lilies. With these things, results happen slowly. The secret is to enjoy the process. Now I don’t know if the apostles truly enjoyed fishing or just begrudgingly did it as a day job, but if we love the process then waiting for it to bear results is not so bad. In this case, for the apostles, the results were much different than they could have ever expected. They received more fish than they ever could have hoped for in a day’s outing. The same is true for us if we remain faithful. We can’t possibly know what kind of rewards await us. Just keep pushing and learn to enjoy the process–or as some say, the journey–and it won’t matter so much if you have days where you catch nothing because the love of what you’re doing and the love of God will sustain you.
Jesus didn’t call the apostles “children” often. In fact I can’t recall any other time when he did. Is there something different about this occasion that made him call them that? Much has been written about the two natures of Jesus; the divine and human. We need to be careful not to confuse the two, but we also need to be careful not to separate the two. God the Father ought to call us children.So, apparently, at times Jesus deemed it appropriate to call the apostles “friends” or “brothers”, but at other times he deemed it necessary to call them “children” as God the Father would. This is appropriate for this occasion since Jesus is providing for the apostles as a father would provide for his children. But another reality presents itself in this scene. Jesus just died for them. He has done more than just provide food. He has provided eternal life.
Some days it really does seem like I’m catching nothing. Peter can relate. But he also swam to you as soon as you provided the fish. Please help me to have faith in the fact that it is indeed you who provides, and not mere coincidence. When Peter saw the nets filled with fish, he knew it was from your providence. Every time you provide for me, I am tempted to think that it’s just good luck or something. But it is you. I should proclaim that just as John did. He said, “It is the Lord!” That is what I should say, while remembering this Gospel passage, everytime you provide. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The apostles listened to Jesus. They cast their nets on the right side of the boat and pulled in a great catch. Sometimes it all seems too easy: just listen to God and he will provide. So often we want to just do things our own way, thinking we know better. Just listen. Let’s not make things more difficult than they need to be. Sometimes the listening part of lectio divina calls us to be silent and still so we can hear God. Other times it tells us to listen as in being obedient. This time the Lord is telling us to just be obedient. In doing so we will enjoy God’s abundant grace.
Kilby is a freelance writer from New Jersey and managing editor of Catholic World Report.