Monday, April 19, 2010

John 21: 1 -19

Ooohh, hey. This is my 400th post. Cool. Or, possibly, disturbing. I talk too much, even on the internet! :)

Anyway, on to me rambling whatever comes into my head. Today, I shall ramble about Sunday's Gospel: John 21: 1 - 19:

1 After these things Jesus manifested Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He manifested Himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will also come with you." They went out and got into the boat; and that night they caught nothing. 4 But when the day was now breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 So Jesus said to them, "Children, you do not have any fish, do you?" They answered Him, "No." 6 And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch." So they cast, and then they were not able to haul it in because of the great number of fish. 7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." So when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put his outer garment on (for he was stripped for work), and threw himself into the sea. 8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. 9 So when they got out on the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have now caught." 11 Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples ventured to question Him, "Who are You?" knowing that it was the Lord 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and the fish likewise. 14 This is now the third time that Jesus was manifested to the disciples, after He was raised from the dead.
15 So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You " He said to him, "Tend My lambs." 16 He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Shepherd My sheep." 17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You " Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep.

18 "Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go." 19 Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me!"

We start out after the Crucifixion, after the Resurrection, and after Jesus has already appeared to the disciples twice. And seven of them are going fishing. I can see the little wheels turning, going, what? Why aren't they out there, converting souls for Jesus? They've seen Him! They *know*! All true. Still, they had to eat. They still had to provide for their families. St. John, who was on the boat, had to also provide for Mary, who had been commended to his care. I mean, it's what they knew.

This whole, continued non-recognition of Jesus: I think He didn't *quite* look like Himself. He had a glorified body now, so while it was still the flesh that He had had before, it was different. Different enough that His closest companions didn't recognize Him at first.

The fishing: What did they do differently when Jesus said to toss the net in than they had been doing the whole night before? Nothing, except that they were doing it at the direction of God. So, you can do the right thing, time and time again, but it doesn't bear fruit (true, spiritual fruit), until you're doing it under God, joined with His Will. Make sense to anyone else?

I'd like to note that it was St. John, not St. Peter who realized that it was Jesus speaking to them. St. John is the beloved disciple. And I head this interesting take on his 'belovedness' on the radio Sunday on my way to Mass. A lot of people think that because he is referred to as 'the beloved' that Jesus had a special affection for St. John. That he was His 'favorite'. After all, He gave His mother to St. John (and to all of us, spiritually, but at the time, very practically, He gave St. John 'custody'.) However, the priest who was speaking said that the Church's position is actually that St. John called himself 'the beloved' not because he was loved better or more than the other disciples, but because he had an awareness of the love that Jesus had for him, and all the other disciples, equally. That, had the other disciples shared his particular comprehension of this fact, they too would have referred to themselves as 'the beloved'. Interesting.

Anyway. The image of St. Peter jumping into the sea to swim to shore because he can't wait for the boat to sail in is amusing to me. :)

By the time the rest of the disciples got to shore, there was already fish there. Where'd those come from? Did St. Peter catch it in his bare hands? Jesus brought the fish. A reminder of the feeding of the five thousand? Another Eucharistic supper?

Now, the 'do you love me?' three times. Remember that St. Peter had previously *denied* Jesus three times. I think that's why Jesus asked him this question three times. A chance to change his answer. To acknowledge His God as he had previously denied him, and bring himself back into 'balance'. To redress his sin in equal proportion.

And the last: ah, prophecy. It sounds so nice and harmless until you're there waiting to be martyred.


  1. I love when you share these things! This one was especially good. Great thoughts you shared and I absolutely adored what you said about John and the "beloved" label. I want to be known as "Susanne the Beloved" because I, too, recognize the great love Jesus demonstrates for me. Wow, incredible thought!

    Yeah, Peter is an all-or-nothing kind of guy, isn't he? My preacher says Peter is his favorite Bible character because of Peter's...I don't know, zest for life, the "realness" of him. I like that the Bible shares about Peter's personality - good and bad. I believe a LOT of us can relate to him because of these things.

    Great what you shared about the 3 times affirmation of Peter's love for Jesus. Isn't it neat that Jesus instructed Peter to tend his sheep? It goes along with the teaching of "by this will all men know that you are my disciples,if you have love for one another."

    So it seems we can show our love for Jesus by loving and caring for and "tending" His sheep. I love that thought.

    Thanks for sharing all this!

    Congrats on 400 posts!

  2. Sheesh. You're just going for it, aren't you? First you want to be called Captain Awesome, and now Beloved? How would we even type that all out? Susanne 'Captain Awesome' the Beloved? ;)

    But seriously...I think that was a part of the priests' point: we're *all* beloved of God. It's just us realizing it that's the problem.

    *snicker* I didn't think of it when I was writing the post, but later on I imagined the scene reminiscent of the one in Forest Gump where he sees Lt. Dan on the dock and jumps off the ship yelling 'Lieutenant Daaaaaaaaannnnnnn' *headdesk* Irreverence. I has it. :)

    But yes, St. Peter is very... *enthusiastic*, isn't he?

    That's one of the things I appreciate about the Bible, and one of the things that makes it more believable to me: all of the people related in it are realistic. They're not passed off as 'perfect', with all of their sins not counted because of who they are.

  3. Welllll, I think we can just shorten my name to Captain Awesome the Beloved since Susanne and Capt. Awesome are (or should be) known to be the same dear wonderful soul. :)

    LOL @ your Forrest Gump reference to Peter's jump in the lake! I hope I can cleanse that comment out of my head before I hear this passage at church again. I don't want to have to choke down giggles because of something irreverent YOU brought to mind. (Kids these days *shaking head in disbelief*)

    Yeah, I like the realness of the Bible characters, too. Gives me hope! :)

  4. Ah, I see. That's good, because your name was getting a tad un-wieldy. :)

    Amber: Spreading irreverence since 1982. ;)

  5. "Amber: Spreading irreverence since 1982. ;)"

    Ha, ha! Sounds like something fitting for that box under your picture on Facebook. :)

    Btw, be sure to read my Silly Susie Stuff post ... or at least skim it. I mentioned you. I know you won't mind since - after all - this IS Captain Awesome the Beloved we are talking about!

  6. Heh. I should putting on my profile here, too.

    Ooohh...I feel so special! :) I will definitely check it out. Even when I don't comment, I do read all your posts you know. So I can absorb the wisdom. :)

  7. "I do read all your posts you know. So I can absorb the wisdom."

    Ha! It's more like a plea, "Help a poor old woman understand this stuff more, won't ya?" :-)

    Also...I don't think you are on Facebook a lot, but there is a post I left for you an hour or so ago. It might be of no interest and that's perfectly fine, BUT in case you missed it and wanted to read some of the comments... well, I left it on your FB page. You can delete it if you don't want your other friends to follow the link. I thought I should let you know in case you don't check FB and don't have it set so notifications go to your e-mailbox. :)

  8. One last you know about this blog? (Like you need MORE to read, right?)

    The author has you listed and she told me she enjoys visiting your blog to learn more about Christianity. :)

  9. Susanne,

    Who you calling old? :)

    Ooohhh...I do have it set to notify me, but I'll go check it out when I get a chance. You're right, I don't spend a whole lot of time on there.

    re: blog: Really? No, I wasn't aware of that blog. Thanks. I'll have to go check it out.

    See, it surprises me to learn someone likes to read me, but I've never heard of them. Like, if you like me, say something! Even if it's just a 'hey, I'm here.' Cause I sometimes feel it's just you and me Susanne. :)

    (Not that lurkers should suddenly feel pressured to comment, should they exist. I'm just saying.)

  10. Ah, it's "just" Suroor. You know her, I think. :)

  11. Really? So it's her 'secret' blog? :)

  12. I think it was one she wrote on for a while and then finally "released to the public" in a limited way. She told us recently we could put it on our blog lists so I knew it was OK to share it with you. :)

    I'm not UU, but it's interesting reading her journey and offering a Christian POV at times.


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