Reflection: Third Sunday of Easter

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church


[1st Reading – Acts 5:27-32, 40-41; Ps.29; 2nd Reading – Ap.5:11-14; Gospel – Jn.21:1-19]


In today’s gospel, Jesus (for the third time after His Resurrection) is making his appearance to his Disciples and it appears that this time his Disciples are not as afraid as they used to be in the previous appearances.  In fact, they even go out fishing … during the night. On the one hand they are trying to get back to their normal every day routine, and on the other, they are still feeling the effects of their experiences with Jesus. However, life must go on, and if they have to eat to stay alive, then they have to go to work and going fishing seemed to be a wise and appropriate decision. But then the fishing proved to be a disaster and their frustration grew stronger at the end of the night when they returned back to the shore without any catch at all.

Now, we are told that Jesus appeared and stood on the shore but somehow they did not recognise him. This inability to recognise Jesus for who He was seems to be a recurring theme. What seemed strange in today’s encounter with Jesus is that when he asked his Disciples if they have caught anything and they answered in the negative, they suddenly “obeyed” his command to throw the net out to starboard. Usually they always had something to say, but now, it seems that they are submissive to what Jesus had to say. When the miracle takes place and they see the effect of “obeying” Jesus, and the disciple that Jesus loved understood and recognised Jesus, he said to Peter that it was the Lord and panic strikes Peter who then jumps into the water, while the others tow the boat with the net and fish to the land.

Once on the shore, Jesus invites them to eat something. He had already prepared some food, but he also asked them to bring some of the fish they had just caught. Again, they obeyed.

This time they knew it was the Lord, but still, it seems that they were not really convinced because we are told that “no one was bold enough to ask him who he was”. The scene ends by Jesus sharing with them the bread and the fish i.e. the co-operation of the fruit of the earth, work of human hands and God’s creatures. They had already had this experience when he was with them and therefore, through this sharing, they should have the certainty that this is truly Him.

We are told that when Jesus ate with them He started a dialogue with Peter asking him if he loved Him. Through Peter’s positive answer (three times) Jesus commanded him to (1) Feed his Lambs (2) Look after his Sheep and (3) Feed his Sheep; after which Jesus invited Peter to “Follow Him”. This threefold command given to Peter was a continuation of what Jesus himself had been doing while he was with them. Peter had to continue what Jesus had begun and this continuation had to have a pattern – the example of Jesus which Peter had to follow: He had to follow Jesus by looking after and feeding the flock entrusted to him with a particular attention to the Lambs i.e. the vulnerable and delicate ones!

“Lord, we are part of this flock. Give us the wisdom to follow Peter who in turn followed you. Thank You Lord!”


Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo )

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