April 22, 2007
Opening Life Reflection
Allow time for discussion. Sharing a meal with others gives us strength and nourishment. The first disciples recognized the resurrected Jesus while sharing a meal together. We celebrate Jesus’ presence when we share the Eucharistic meal.
Listening to the Word of God
Read Acts 5:27-32, 40-41.
Scripture Discussion Starters
In the gospel today the resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples. Listen to what happens when they share a meal.
Read John 21:1-19.
• What are the disciples doing when Jesus calls out to them?
In the reading from Acts, the apostles are interrogated by the High Priest because they are teaching in the name of Jesus, when they have been given orders not to. Peter and the apostles courageously claim that they obey God and not any human authority. The power of the Holy Spirit is evident in the lives of the apostles as they face persecution. They go on their way rejoicing that they are willing and worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Today’s gospel begins with the disciples having little success catching fish. Then Jesus appears and tells them where to cast their nets. The result is a catch so great that the nets are bulging. This passage reminds us of the beginning of John’s gospel, when the call of the disciples to share in the mission of Jesus is described in terms of catching fish. The full nets in today’s gospel suggest that the disciples will take on their mission of evangelization with great success.
The breakfast that is shared on the beach brings the substance of the work of Jesus and the disciples to the table. And in breaking bread together all the disciples know that the risen Lord is with them.
After the meal Jesus asks the disciple who betrayed him three times a question. He asks this question three times, “Peter do you love me?” Each time Peter answers, “Yes,” and Jesus responds with a request, “Feed my sheep.” Like a shepherd who cares for his flock, Peter is being asked to nourish and care for all people. Peter is being called to follow Jesus and in doing so to give his very life.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The risen Christ nourishes us as well. Catholics believe that the Eucharist strengthens and nourishes believers for the mission of Christ. The Eucharistic meal increases our love for the poor and it renews our faith. The Eucharistic liturgy, the Mass, nourishes us to go forth and spend our lives in service for the life of the world.
• How is celebrating Eucharist like sharing a family meal?
The Gospel in Life