Easter Friday, April 6, 2018


All evangelists underline the disciples’ difficulty of recognizing the Risen Lord. First, they do not realize that he is there, and that he is just like a stranger; then, usually as a consequence of a word or action, it dawns on them that it is the Lord; and those who love him most – today John – usually recognize him first. The Risen Lord is quite different in appearance from the Jesus whom they had known before his death and resurrection.
Though their faith in the resurrection was difficult and slow, still it is the heart of the apostolic preaching: the risen Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith and our lives. As with the apostles, he stays with us when we are toiling.

1 Reading ACTS 4:1-12
After the crippled man had been cured,
while Peter and John were still speaking to the people,
the priests, the captain of the temple guard,
and the Sadducees confronted them,
disturbed that they were teaching the people
and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.
They laid hands on Peter and John
and put them in custody until the next day,
since it was already evening.
But many of those who heard the word came to believe
and the number of men grew to about five thousand.

On the next day, their leaders, elders, and scribes
were assembled in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest,
Caiaphas, John, Alexander,
and all who were of the high-priestly class.
They brought them into their presence and questioned them,
“By what power or by what name have you done this?”
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, answered them,
“Leaders of the people and elders:
If we are being examined today
about a good deed done to a cripple,
namely, by what means he was saved,
then all of you and all the people of Israel should know
that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazorean
whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead;
in his name this man stands before you healed.
He is the stone rejected by you, the builders,
which has become the cornerstone.
There is no salvation through anyone else,
nor is there any other name under heaven
given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”

Responsorial Psalm 118:1-2 AND 4, 22-24, 25-27A
R. (22) The stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.
R. Alleluia.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
“His mercy endures forever.”

The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.

O LORD, grant salvation!
O LORD, grant prosperity!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD;
we bless you from the house of the LORD.
The LORD is God, and he has given us light.

Alleluia PS 118:24
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel John 21:1-14
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.
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.

The disciple whom Jesus loved is the first to recognize the Lord at his manifestation. But it is other disciple who loves Jesus that acts first on the recognition. The first disciple recognizes the voice of the beloved and informs Peter: “It’s the Lord.” No sooner had the words reached Peter’s ears than he jumped into the water. This is the second time we find Peter jumping into water, but the two jumps cannot be more different in quality. The first jump was out of a desire to confirm the identity of Jesus (Matt 14). During that jump, Peter started cautiously only to lose confidence and drown in fear. Not this time. Peter does not even pause to test the claim of the other disciple. Caution is thrown to the winds. If he was paralyzed by the chaotic environment then, this time around he does not even bother to look around. The heart that truly loves cannot wait. It has already leaped out of the boat and swum to the Master; the body merely follows it without a care in the world. You are a disciple whom Jesus loves to perfection. Are you a disciple who loves Jesus to perfection as well? That would be an awesome combination!

May we raise up one another and bring one another healing and peace in the name of our Risen Lord, Jesus. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!


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