Third Sunday of Easter
In today’s gospel (John 21: 1-19) once again Jesus presents himself to the disciples. This time it is on the shore of the sea of Tiberias. Peter and companions went fishing. They worked the whole night but caught nothing. We can understand their disappointment. As they were winding up to go home, someone from the shore asked about the result of the work. There was the disappointing answer, “caught nothing.” Then came a suggestion came from the stranger, “cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” Though without much hope, reluctantly they yielded to the suggestion as if to have one more try. The effort had amazing results, a net full of fish. How could that have happened? It is the Lord!
John realized that the stranger who told them to cast the net over the right side of the boat was none other than the Lord Jesus. As soon as Simon Peter heard, ‘‘it is the Lord’’, he jumped out of the boat to reach the Lord. The Lord was there to welcome them for a breakfast. The breakfast time was an occasion for a greater event, that is, for investing Simon Peter with the authority to feed the sheep. Earlier at the time of Jesus’ trial, it was while sitting around the charcoal fire that Peter denied Jesus three times, telling that he did not know Jesus. Now, around the charcoal fire Jesus asks Peter three times to affirm Peter’s love for Jesus- a love that would last forever. Peter affirmed his love, responding to the Lord’s question, “Do you love me,’’ three times. Peter finally proved his love, and met his fate at the hands of others and died for the sake of his faith by martyrdom in Rome. The blood of martyrs is the seed of faith.