JOHN 21: 1-19
HIS WORDâ€¦ CHILDREN HAVE YOU CAUGHT ANYTHING TO EAT? â€¦CAST THE NET OVER THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BOAT AND YOU WILL FIND SOMETHINGâ€¦ BRING SOME OF THE FISH YOU JUST CAUGHTâ€¦ COME HAVE BREAKFASTâ€¦
SIMON, SON OF JOHN, DO YOU LOVE ME MORE THAN THESE? â€œFEED MY LAMBSâ€â€¦ SIMON, SON OF JOHN, DO YOU LOVE ME? â€œTEND MY SHEEPâ€ â€¦ SIMON, SON OF JOHN, DO YOU LOVE ME? â€œFEED MY SHEEPâ€ â€¦FOLLOW MEâ€¦
my wordsâ€¦Todayâ€™s gospel of John beautifully outlines how the Risen Lord would institute His Church; and now, this Church has already lived or existed for more than 2,000 years… and until the age to come. The first task of the early Church is the fishing mission which reminds of an earlier call, â€œCome. I will make you fishers of men; from now on you will be catching menâ€ (Mt 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:1-11). Here Jesus outlines the mission of the Church as catching men (and women, and in fact the whole of humanity) through the tearless and tireless net, the Church. And this Church is universal for she will be catching peoples of different cultures and tongues as symbolized by the 153 large fish which were the species of all fish available at Lake Galilee at that time, and which also represented the big different languages throughout the whole world during the time of Christ. Thus at this event, the Risen Lord Jesus has already insinuated the universal mission of the Apostles covering the whole wide world. And this mission of the early Church will not be complete if it is not brought to the climax of the Holy Eucharist, â€œCome, have breakfastâ€ (Jn 21:12); for the Mass energizes, sustains, rejuvenates, and gives life to the mission of the Church. Without the Mass (or without Christ), the Church mission has no difference with the mission of the NGOs (Pope Francisâ€™ simple homily to his fellow cardinals).
The second part of todayâ€™s gospel is about Peter. Here Jesus manifested the â€œPrimacy of Peterâ€, an ecclesiological doctrine hinting at the authority vested by Jesus Christ upon Peter (Mt 16:13-20). But Peter was a sinner; he denied the Lord three times! And here comes the healing of Peterâ€™s sins at an early morning breakfast hour. Let us remember that Peter had committed the sin in the middle of the night over charcoal fires; he is now to be healed by Risen Jesus at an early morning daytime hour over a charcoal fire (with fish on it and bread) of the Eucharist. Peter denied the Lord three times; and the forgiving formula is, â€œSimon (Peter), son of John, do you love me more than these?â€ (Jn 21:15-17) three times also; and the penance is, â€œFeed my Lambs…, Tend my sheep…, Feed my sheep…â€ (Jn 21:15-17) at every confession of Peter for three times also, â€œYes, Lord, you know everything; you know that I love youâ€ (Jn 21:15-17). Then comes the warning of Christian persecutions and martyrdoms, and the invitation: â€œFollow meâ€ (Jn 21:19); meaning, you lead my flock, you head my Church, and you die for it. Thus, Peter is considered in Church History as the First Pope of the Church founded by Jesus.
Brothers and Sisters, Jesus is truly risen! And this is the Church founded by Jesus, the Risen Lord. And there is NO OTHER CHURCH than this Church!!! He intensively and intricately prepared the foundation of the true Church to make her last forever through all the ages… And this is where we belong. That is why, in the creed, we profess every Sunday and at every prayer of the Rosary: â€œWe believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church…â€ (the longer formin the Nicene Creed) which constitutes the MARKS of the true Church, because Jesus has founded her Himself so that this Church will become the vehicle towards eternal life.
Brothers and Sisters, once again, Jesus is truly risen; He is now in heaven waiting for us. Come, let us journey with the Church to come to Jesus in heaven. Amen.
HAPPY JOURNEYING WITH THE PILGRIM CHURCH TO THE HOME OF THE FATHER…
(ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)