Scripture Reading: John 21:1–17
Context: The disciples had gone back to their former work of fishing, perhaps because they were waiting for the Lord to tell them what was next. Five of them were out on the boat at the invitation of Peter, and they fished all night but caught nothing. Then Jesus shouts to them from ashore, tells them to cast the net over the right side of the boat, and they catch 153 fish.
Again, Jesus is not immediately recognized. This reminds us that our Lord is always near us, all around us, and so often we fail to see His presence. He is in our work, in our family, others around us, in the Eucharist, and He is present in so many other ways.
Symbolically, we can see the boat as the Church whose unity is not torn (as the net is not torn). Peter is seen as the leader, the Vicar of Christ. According to many of the Church Fathers, the number of fish (153) could have a variety of meanings.
The miracle opens their eyes to see that it is Jesus Who had called to them. Peter shows his devotion by immediately jumping in and swimming ashore. Peter is then questioned by Jesus about his love three times. This is in response to Peter’s triple denial of our Lord. Peter responds in love and is therefore given the mission to tend and feed Christ’s sheep. Peter is empowered to be a true shepherd of the flock of God.
There is much symbolism present in this miracle. It is also intimate and personal. Peter is the primary person with our Lord. The goal of this meditation is not so much to study the passage; rather, it is to prayerfully ponder it through the methods of contemplation, seeing yourself there and allowing our Lord to speak to you.
Reflection: Prayerfully ponder John 21:1–17 using the methods of meditation and contemplation with which you have become familiar.
- Resurrection of Jesus and First Apparition
- Second Apparition
- Third Apparition
- Fourth Apparition
- Fifth Apparition
- Sixth Apparition
- Seventh Apparition
- Eighth Apparition
- Ninth Apparition
- Additional Apparitions
- Ascension of Jesus
- Contemplation to Attain Divine Love