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Gospel reflection

May 5, 2019: Third Sunday of Easter

Reading: John 21:1-14

At that time, Jesus revealed himself 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..


It was in the sharing of the meal, after the disciples came in from fishing, that the disciples recognized Jesus as their risen Lord. Until then they only knew that he was a man on shore, trying to help. Jesus, by suggesting they cast their net on the other side of the boat was perhaps inviting them to relook at all the possibilities, by trying again.

Many times, in our lives we think we can handle situations by ourselves and find out after many tries that it is not working like we had planned. All our knowledge, expertise and skill, seems to fail us. Our egos are bruised, and it may stop us from trying again. Often it takes someone we feel close to and trust to help us to gently relook at our options. It takes courage and trust to put ourselves into the hands of God and listen for God’s guidance. Perhaps we will see things differently and find ourselves trying again when we think we have failed.


Sometimes what we see as failure, is only in hindsight, a gift. Has this ever been your experience? How do you relate it to this reading today?

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Connie Schnapf

Providence Associate Connie Schnapf is a wife, mother and grandmother. She worked for nearly 30 years as a parish director of religious education. She currently works part time at WNIN Public Radio and TV as their receptionist and continues to offer spiritual direction to others. Connie and her husband live in Newburgh, Indiana.

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