Living the Gospel – May 5, 2019

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Today’s Gospel, sometimes called the Breakfast on the Beach story, is a familiar one that includes many details for us to reflect on. The disciples have been through a lot… accompanying Jesus through his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. They must have been physically and emotionally drained. Jesus had challenged their thinking, beliefs and actions…..and what is Peter’s response, “I am going fishing.” Was he implying he was going back to his ‘old ways,’ back home and resume his fishing career? But the Risen Lord meets him there on the Lake and calls Him once again. Do we realize that no matter what we do, where we go, no matter how we might try to escape, God is with us and will continue to call us to follow His way. Let’s pray for the grace and courage to recognize and follow God.

Next, we hear that the disciples fished all night long and caught nothing. Jesus appears onshore and tells them to cast their net on the right side of the boat…and to their amazement their net is stretched to capacity. Is the message here that left to our own ways we fail, but when we follow Jesus’ way we will be successful? Let’s pray for the grace and courage to hear and follow God.

Then, Jesus shares His message with his friends by sharing a meal with them. How important meals are! … not only to physically feed our bodies but to connect with other people. Whether it be a simple picnic, a quick lunch at a fast food place, a simple supper at home with family and/or friends or a banquet celebrating a special occasion, a meal is a time to talk with others and share aspects of our life. It might be a light-hearted conversation or a serious discussion…but oh how valuable is the time spent with others. Jesus was quick to invite others. ….Let’s pray that we have the generosity and hospitality to reach out and invite someone to enjoy a meal.

Finally, Jesus questions Peter three times by asking him ‘Do you love me?’ Each time Peter responds ‘yes’ and Jesus gives him the direction to show his love by tending and feeding his lambs and sheep. Do we put our love into action? Let’s pray that we are open to seeing how we can love each other in big and little ways each day….not only in words, but concrete actions.

Peg Orzel