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The appearance to the seven disciples

Published

REFLECTION

John 21:1-14

 

Jesus revealed Himself again 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.

 

Reflection

Jesus revealed himself again. John notes that this is the third time Jesus appears to His disciples after the resurrection (v 14). The evangelist must have a reason to say this because this is actually the fourth time: 20:11-18 to Mary Magdalene; 20:19-23 to the disciples without Thomas; 20:24-29 to the disciples with Thomas.

The scene is at the Sea of Tiberias, where Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael, Zebedee’s sons, and two others are fishing. They catch nothing. Jesus, whom they do not recognize at first, appears to them at dawn and advises them to “cast the net over the right side of the boat” to have a catch.

Because they caught a large number of fish, the Beloved Disciple recognizes Jesus and tells Peter, “It is the Lord.” When they reach the shore, Jesus invites them to have breakfast. The gestures of Jesus (“took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish”) echo the multiplication of the loaves and fish in 6:11.

Jesus reveals Himself in an unexpected place and event: By the seashore, during a meal. He prepares the meal for the disciples. He is truly a man for others, giving us an example of selfless love, shown primarily in His death for our salvation.

 

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2017,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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