26 April 2019
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.
The name of Jesus Christ is the only one by which we can be saved
In today’s gospel, it appeared that the disciples were feeling lost without Jesus. Not knowing what to do, they went back to doing what they were familiar with, that is, fishing. But our Lord, knowing their confusion and disheartened state, appeared to them with breakfast! Oh, how loving our Lord is. Upon recognizing Jesus, Simon Peter jumped into the waters immediately and swam towards our Lord. And it is the same Peter that proclaimed fearlessly to the chief priests, rebuking them for rejecting our Lord, the keystone.
In many ways, today’s readings showed us how the lives of the disciples were transformed after encountering the resurrected Lord. Many became martyrs, laid down their lives for Him, no longer were they fishermen but “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Easter signifies new birth, so how are we being transformed today? Do we continue to reject Jesus as our keystone, like the chief priests of old, with our sinful ways? Do we just go back to our old ways? Or are we stepping into a better version of ourselves to glorify our Lord?
When we find ourselves in the unchartered waters of life, be it illness, a new job, loss of a loved one, etc., let us be reassured that Jesus is here, always on standby to provide for us. He is the keystone — He is the way, the truth and the life, the only one by which we can be saved.
(Today’s Oxygen by Lorraine Wong)
Prayer: My Lord and my God, as we renew our baptismal vows this Easter, let our lives be transformed as we step forth, in your name, with courage and strength to do the Father’s will.
Thanksgiving: Our Father, thank you for all the blessings and gifts you have given us, the biggest of all Our Lord Jesus Christ!