Third Sunday of EasterC
Daily Scripture Analysis

Daily Gospel

Third Sunday of EasterC

Jn 21 

Readings: Acts 5:27b-32, 40b-41; Rev 5:11-14; Jn 21:1-14.

1/ First Reading: NAB Acts 5:27 When they had brought them in and made them stand before the Sanhedrin, the high priest questioned them, 28 "We gave you strict orders (did we not?) to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man's blood upon us." 29 But Peter and the apostles said in reply, "We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. 32 We are witnesses of these things, as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him." 40 After recalling the apostles, they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them. 41 So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.

2/ Second Reading: NAB Revelation 5:11 I looked again and heard the voices of many angels who surrounded the throne and the living creatures and the elders. They were countless in number, 12 and they cried out in a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing." 13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: "To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever." 14 The four living creatures answered, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.

3/ Gospel: NAB John 21:1 After this, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. 2 Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee's sons, and two others of his disciples. 3 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. 4 When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." 6 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. 7 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. 8 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. 9 When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you just caught." 11 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. 12 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. 13 Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.


Written by: Fr. Anthony Tien M. Dinh, O.P.

 

I. THEME: We must believe in God and Christ’s teaching.

            People are always put in situations that they must decide, either to believe in God’s or in their’s or the world’s wisdom and power. A large part of people in the past and today decide to believe in their’s and the world’s wisdom and power.

            Today readings give us reasons why we should believe in God’s wisdom and power. In the first reading, Peter, the representator of the apostles posed a question for the Sandherin, “Must we believe in God or in human beings?” The answer for this question is so obvious that all must obey in God; but the Sandherin didn’t answered because they were forcing the apostles to obey them! In the second reading, the author of Revelation wanted to emphasize on the wonderful results of God’s plan of salvation, and Christ is the victor of all worldly powers. He is worthy to receive all honors, glories and all praises. In the Gospel, when the apostles obeyed Christ’s instruction, they caught a great catch of fish; there are so much fish and yet the net wasn’t torn. They also received Christ’s tender love and care.

II. ANALYSIS:

1/ Reading I: The apostles are joyful because they were regarded as worthy to be suffered for Christ’s name.

1.1/ The Sandherin’s stubborn reaction: They killed Christ’s without proper reason and they put innocent apostles in the prison the first time. This was the second time they judged the apostles after God’s angel led them out of prison. They gave an order for the apostles to present before the Sandhedrin, and the high priest questioned them: “We gave you strict orders (did we not?) to stop teaching in that name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and want to bring this man's blood upon us.”

            It is better for members of the Sandherin to confess their sin after two times they condemned the innocents, whereas they wanted the apostles not to use Christ’s name to preach and to put Christ’s blood upon them. They should know that their role is to receive the light, not to destroy the light. However, out of fear from people, they weren’t dared to kill the apostles; but “they had them flogged, ordered them to stop speaking in the name of Jesus, and dismissed them.”

1.2/ The apostles’ reactions: We can recognize the courage of Peter and other apostles. They have just be led out of prison by God’s angel, so they are no longer feared of prison or the Sandherin’s power, but they want to continue to be witnesses for Christ. The apostles spoke out the truth which all the Jews who revere God must agree with them, that is, “must obey God more than people.” They continued to give the testimony for Christ, “The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins. We are witnesses of these things, as is the Holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.”

            When were flogged by the Sandherin, the apostles didn’t fear; but they are proud of being suffered and shared in Christ’s Passion.

2/ Reading II: "To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever."

 

2.1/The heavenly hymn that praises the Lamb: There are seven things which the angels praised the Lamb who is worthy to receive.

            (1) Power: St. Paul called Christ as God’s wisdom and power (1 Cor 1:24).

            (2) Riches: The source of blessings for human beings is overflowed from Christ; by him, we receive grace upon grace (Jn 1:16). The author of the Letter to the Ephesians said that the fullness of grace can’t be found anywhere except in Christ (Eph 3:8).

            (3) Wisdom: Christ is God’s wisdom and word (Jn 1:1-2; 1 Cor 1:24).

            (4) Strength: Christ has power to take away the enemy’s weapon and is victorious over Satan’s power (Lk 11:22).

            (5) Honor: Paul described this character the best, “Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11).

            (6) Glory: Christ has the glory which is more glorious than what he had before. St. John wrote, “We saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14b).

            (7) Praises: Christ is worthy of all human praises because he took his precious blood to purchase for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation (Rev 5:9).

2.2/ There are four things that all creatures praised God and the Lamb: We know the basic, “What belongs to God is also belong to the Lamb.”

            (1) Praises: God is worthy to be praised by all because He created all things. He is the One who devises the plan to save people from sins and death.

            (2) Honor: Christ came to reveal God’s name for human beings; he also did all things to honor that name “I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word” (Jn 17:6).

            (3) Glory: God’s glory is also Christ’s glory in his divine nature.

            (4) Power: God uses Christ’s power to govern all things; especially He let Christ resurrect from death and destroy it for ever.

 

3/ Gospel: To do according to God’s will shall bring back results which exceed our desire.

            Many people wonder why Peter and other apostle went back to their former career which is fisherman after Christ’s resurrection. Is this meant they lost their faith in him or no longer have zeal to preach the Gospel? We know that St. Luke also reported the miracle of the wonderful catch of fish (Lk 5:1-11), but at the beginning of Christ’s public ministry when he called the first few of his disciples. Matthew and Mark, though not reporting about the wonderful catch, but as in Luke’s report, Christ invited Peter to become as “the fisher of men” (Mt 4:19; Mk 1:17). This report shows Luke is closed to John than to Matthew and Mark.

            As we are so familiar with John, the evangelist never stops at the reporting the miracle, but wants to raise his audience to a deeper level. We need to find out what is the deeper level which John wants to raise us up to it through today passage. Chapter 21 is regarded by many modern commentators as the addition either by John or by his disciples.

3.1/ Doing against God’s will only leads to bad results: The passage opens up as follows, “After this, 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.” The point John wanted to emphasize in this passage is “they caught nothing.”

           

3.2/ Doing according to God’s will always lead to good results: John continued to report, “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.”

            This lesson must teach the apostles and all of us to always obey and to find out God’s will to do. This is one of the main lessons which Jesus repeated for his disciples when he was still living with them, “I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn 5:30, cf also 4:34 and 6:38).

            The beloved disciple is the first one to recognize Jesus and said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” When Peter heard this, he put on his cloak and jumped to the sea. Why did he put on his cloak and jumped to the sea? May be he wanted to pay respect to the Lord. Once more time, Peter recognized his weakness and shortcoming. In the journey of leading the early Church, Peter believed too much in his wisdom and power, he forgot about the source of wisdom and power comes from God. This miracle reminds Peter and all the Church’s leaders to always looking for and doing God’s will.

3.3/ Christ still accompanied with his apostles: John continued to report, “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."” Some other points we can draw out from this passage:

            (1) Christ doesn’t separate himself from his disciples after the resurrection; but he is still concerned with their problems and care for them. In today report, he concerned with their need of food. He set up fire to toast bread and to be ready for new caught fish so that they may have their meal after working all night long.

            (2) Christ always has a way to protect his Church and disciples: The strange thing in this miracle is not only at catching many fish but also at the net which is “full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn.” This can be the image of the Church. Christ still protects the Church from all the enemy’s jealousy and attack. More than two thousand years had passed, the Church is still standing firm from all the enemies’ attacks both from inside and outside; and shall be like that forever as he promised to Peter (Mt 16:18).

            (3) Eucharist is the source of strength: “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 is the Eucharistic formula which the apostles are too familiarize with. Through this sacrament, Christ becomes one with us and works with us to face all sufferings and challengings of our life. Without this sacrament, we shall have no strength to overcome them.

III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:                     

            - Imitating Christ, we must always try to glorify God’s name, to help His kingdom to come, and to make His will be done on earth as also in heaven.

            - Christ never separates from us. He is still accompanying with the Church and with every of us to love, to care, to guide and to protect.

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