6 Apr – Friday in the Octave of Easter
While Peter and John were talking to the people the priests came up to them, accompanied by the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees. They were extremely annoyed at their teaching the people the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead by proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus. They arrested them, but as it was already late, they held them till the next day. But many of those who had listened to their message became believers, the total number of whom had now risen to something like five thousand.
The next day the rulers, elders and scribes had a meeting in Jerusalem with Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, Jonathan, Alexander and all the members of the high-priestly families. They made the prisoners stand in the middle and began to interrogate them, ‘By what power, and by whose name have you men done this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, addressed them, ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence, today. This is the stone rejected by you the builders, but which has proved to be the keystone. For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’
Jesus showed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said, ‘I’m going fishing.’ They replied, ‘We’ll come with you.’ They went out and got into the boat but caught nothing that night.
It was light by now and there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, ‘Have you caught anything, friends?’ And when they answered, ‘No’, he said, ‘Throw the net out to starboard and you’ll find something.’ So they dropped the net, and there were so many fish that they could not haul it in. The disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord.’ At these words ‘It is the Lord’, Simon Peter, who had practically nothing on, wrapped his cloak round him and jumped into the water. The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net and the fish; they were only about a hundred yards from land.
As soon as they came ashore they saw that there was some bread there, and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it. Jesus said, ‘Bring some of the fish you have just caught.’ Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore, full of big fish, one hundred and fifty-three of them; and in spite of there being so many the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, ‘Who are you?’; they knew quite well it was the Lord. Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus showed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.
“This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation; for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.”
So much hope in the readings today. The hope that will take us out of our comfort zones, a hope that is greater than life. The hope of salvation. The salvation that has been won for us by our Risen Lord.
Today, in the first reading, we see the disciples, with conviction and boldness proclaiming the Good News freely, even while they were arrested. A gift far greater than ourselves, a gift so uncontainable that it overflows. For it isn’t about the physical healings or miracles that the disciples caught so many fish, or that the net didn’t break, but to know that we have found the meaning to our lives — a purpose, a mission, a calling, a love.
God gives to each and every one of us, the greatest gift of Himself, through Jesus.
How amazing that in a world where definitions and boundaries are constantly changing, in our search for perfection, yet it is the stone that the builders rejected, that has become the cornerstone. In a world where it seems that the greater one’s knowledge, the more powerful, apparently, so powerful that we are blinded by its ‘power’.
The failure to recognise that deep within us, is a calling, not just to be the best at what we do, or the best version of ourselves, but it is to be that for OTHERS. And in that, we will find the greater purpose and meaning in life.
“Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” – Matthew 20:28
Jesus has set the example by paying the greatest price because of His love for us. May we see beyond ourselves. May we not simply seek to understand, but may we have faith, may we believe, may we proclaim that God is just not a God over our problems, but a God over our lives, our cornerstone.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Benjamin Mao)
Prayer: Dear Lord, we pray for people in leadership positions in our country and all around the world. In a world that is seemingly in a disastrous mess, help them to find your message, so as to lead us out of this ‘slavery’ and into freedom, your kingdom.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for this hope you bring to all of us, that no matter how bad or wrong we are, you still provide for us a place we can call home.