Friday of the Octave of Easter

John 21:1-14

The Appearance to the Seven Disciples


Stories of recognition abound in world literature. Among the best known is the recognition of Odysseus/Ulysses. After the Trojan War, Ulysses took years before reaching home in the Greek island of Ithaca. It was his dying old dog that recognized His returning master.

Today’s gospel story of the beloved disciple’s recognition of his risen Master bears out the off-quoted line of Blaise Pascal: “The heart has its reasons which reason does not know.” Love recognizes faster than reason.

In an earlier story, also from the gospel of John, it is Magdalene who loved the Lord intensely, who recognized Him: “I have seen the Lord!”

The initial recognition and confession lead the other disciples to acknowledge the risen Lord’s presence. This is further confirmed by other acts of Jesus, like eating which remind of earlier experiences with Him and trigger actual recognition and confession: “It is indeed the Lord!”

In our Christian existence we have our own signs of the Lord’s presence. Often it is only when the experience is over that we, like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, can confess: “Were not our hearts burning while He was conversing with us on the road?”

The Lord is truly with us, with His people. (Fr. Willy Villegas, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


They Catch 153 Fish:

A preacher was fond of the technique of dividing his sermon into several major points. For example, he’d begin by referring to the “five smooth stones” that David used to defeat Goliath. Then he’d divide his sermon into five points. Bor he’d begin by referring to the “seven days of creation” and then divide his sermon into seven points.

One day his congregation nearly had joint heart failure when he began by referring  to the “153 fish” that Peter caught in his net.

They were afraid his sermon was going to have 153 points.

Scholars suggest that the 153 fish stand for the number of nations of the world, which ancient historians placed at 153. Peter’s net stands for the church which is able to embrace all the nations of the world without breaking

What are we doing to help the church embrace all the nations of the world?

The Church exists for the dual purpose of “gathering in” and sending out.” (Mark Link, SJ – Daily Homilies (Seasons and Feasts), p. 164)


Jesus appears on the seashore:

The catch of exactly 153 fish has always caught the eye of Bible readers. There’s a wide agreement that the unusual figure is symbolic, but less agreement about its exact meaning. The simplest explanation is one St. Jerome gave 15 centuries ago.

Ancient zoologists listed the kinds of fish in the world at precisely 153.

The number 153, therefore, might symbolize all the nations of the world. Jesus’ Parable of the Net (Matthew 13:47-50) would support this.

John’s comment that the net didn’t tear might also be interpreted to support it: There’s room in the Kingdom for everyone. The kingdom was made to hold all peoples.

How do we help to work for the spread of God’s kingdom to all nations?

“Our business is not to do something for the church but to do something for it,” (Joseph F. Newton) – (Mark Link, SJ – Daily Homilies (Seasons and Feasts), p. 165)


April 1, 2016 Friday

The Risen Lord meets us whenever and wherever He wants. He comes in the appearance He wishes. He points us in the right direction and gives us helpful instructions. In the case of the disciples in today’s gospel, the Lord met them at dawn at the sea of Tiberias. He assumed the image of a father calling the grown-ups (the disciples) children. He gave instructions – cast the net; pointed in a direction –over the right side of the boat; and assured them of the outcome of the instructions – you will find something. The disciples, like children under the command of a loving father, simply obeyed. As a result they enjoyed a great catch. After the event, the disciple whom Jesus loved pointed out “It is the Lord!” The beloved disciple knows the works, recognizes the movements, and feels the presence of the Lord, the Lover.

On one occasion last year, a teenager in our parish posted a picture of a crucifix on his Facebook timeline. Above the picture, he wrote: “Today is Valentine’s Day. This is my crucifix. This is an image of Jesus. Oftentimes I put it on my table. Although we don’t see Him, He is always near us. Sometimes we neglect him, forget him, but he will not get angry or leave us. I put the crucifix on my table to think of Him, to love Him, to gently caress Him.” Are these not the words of someone who feels the love of Jesus and loves Jesus in return? Are these not the expressions of a beloved who cherishes the presence of the lover?

While lovers celebrate Hearts Day with their own beloved in their own ways, a teenager made public (via FB) when and where the Lord meets him; how the crucifix reminds him of the nearness of the Risen Jesus to him and to all of us. In those lines he wrote, “I heard him telling me: ‘Look, it is the Lover! It is the Risen Lord!’” (Fr. Abs Borja, SVD Taiwan Bible Diary 2016)



Old Calendar: Easter Friday

“Children, have you any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”

Over the charcoal fire, Peter is given the opportunity to tell Jesus he loves Him, three times, repairing for his triple denial of Christ at His Passion.

Outside of Easter Week today is the Optional Memorial of St. Vincent Ferrer.

Easter reminds us of these fundamental requirements of the Christian life: the practice of piety and patience. Through piety we live detached from human frailties, in purity of mind and body, in union with Christ. Through patience we succeed in strengthening our character and controlling our temper so as to become more pleasing to the Lord and an example and encouragement to others, in the various contingencies of social life.

The Resurrection of the Lord truly represents—and for this reason it is celebrated every year—the renewed resurrection of every one of us to the true Christian life, the perfect Christian life which we must all try to live. “The Resurrection of Christ is the sacrament of new life.”

My beloved brothers and children! First of all let us look closely at our pattern, Jesus Christ. You see that everything in His life was in preparation for His resurrection. As St Augustine says: “In Christ everything was working for His resurrection.”

Born as a man, He appeared as a man for but a short time. Born of mortal flesh, He experienced all the vicissitudes of mortality. We see Him in His infancy, His boyhood, and His vigorous maturity, in which He died. He could not have risen again if He had not died; He could not have died if He had not been born; He was born and He died so that He might rise again.

This is what St Augustine tells us in simple, sublime words.

Excerpted from Prayers and Devotions from Pope John XXIII, edited by John P. Donnelly © 1967, 1966.


NAME ABOVE ALL – NAMES: Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. – Acts 4:12

“Just do it!” is a popular slogan for an equally popular brand name, Nike. Not many know that Nike was a struggling athletic shoe company until it became associated with arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan made Nike so big that they came up with his own line, the Air Jordan. Like Nike, the Chicago Bulls that Michael Jordan played for in his heyday became a household name because of him. They won six championships with Jordan at the helm. It can be said that the name Michael Jordan is synonymous to basketball, the Chicago Bulls and Nike.

What’s in a name? It is the reference by which an object or person is identified or recognized. Today’s reading reminds us that for us who believe in Jesus, His name is everything! Only through His name are we saved. And Jesus Himself, acknowledging the power that His name possesses, declares that anything we ask in His name, He will do for us!

In the game of basketball, the name Jordan may be the king, but in the game of life, the name Jesus is the King of kings! In His name. Amen! Erwin Roceles (

Reflection: When you pray, end with Jesus’ name and claim that it will be done just as He promised.

Lord Jesus, I receive the power and grace that comes with Your name. Amen.


1ST READING: Today is the feast day of St. Mark, but we do not celebrate it as we continue to celebrate the Solemnity of the Resurrection of Christ. Mark’s Gospel is a work that has come out of a faith community very soon after the death of Jesus. Yes, Mark writes it, but it really expresses the experience of his community of faith. Let us allow the Holy Spirit to write a new gospel in terms of how our faith develops as we follow Jesus. Acts 4:1-12

GOSPEL: Jesus continues to appear to His disciples. He knows that these appearances are important to instill the truth of the resurrection in the minds and hearts of the Apostles so that when they meet adversity in proclaiming the resurrection they will not falter in their faith. This is also why we should remember the graces God has given us — so that we will never doubt His goodness to us or His presence in our lives. John 21:1-14

think:  We should always remember the graces God has given us so that we will never doubt His goodness to us or His presence in our lives.


“IT IS THE LORD” – The disciples were down, discouraged and incomplete. They numbered seven, instead of Twelve. They went out fishing the whole night and caught nothing. But when Jesus came and directed their efforts and their drooping spirits, John the evangelist writes: “They caught much, and they caught 153 large fish” (v. 11). Amidst the big catch, their net was not torn.

The exact number of 153 for the catch of large fish is believed to be symbolic. According to St. Jerome, the Greek zoologists catalogued a total of 153 species of fish (cf also Ezekiel 47:10; Psalm 104:24-25). This was believed to be the universal number of the variety of fish available in the earth’s seas.

This periscope can mean two things:

  1. The mission is universal. The Apostles were to work not just for the salvation of a few, like the Jews as a selected class. They are being sent for the fulfillment of God’s reign among all peoples. To use the parlance of the Gospel, the Apostles were to be fishers of all men.
  2. The success of the mission is Jesus’ gift. Not the number of the disciples, not the passion and hard work of the disciples alone, not that the disciples were deserving. The Spirit of Jesus present and working in the midst of the disciples, and in spite of their limitedness, is the true dynamo. The beloved disciple declared it right: “It is the Lord.” Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTION: Go through memories of depressing and discouraging events in your life. How did these events reveal the Spirit of God who made things well?

Thank You, Lord, for Your presence during moments of darkness in my life. Thank You for making all things well.


EVERYTHING IS SACRED – This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead. – John 21:14

When I was a young lay missionary, I used to do only religious things. I’d pray, read the Bible, lead prayer meetings, go to Mass, and evangelize.

Today, I still do all that. But I also do more worldly things and enjoy them. Like run my tiny businesses, read books on nonspiritual subjects, and work with people from different faiths.

Let me tell you why I’ve become less religious: I’ve realized that God wants to invade my entire world — not just my religious world.

Today, I don’t have to do anything purely spiritual to meet Him. Now, I meet God in the most secular and most worldly activities. When I watch a movie, He squeezes Himself in the seat beside me, munching popcorn. And when I’m with friends, He’s also there sharing our jokes. When I walk in the mall, He insists on strolling with me.

The boundaries between the sacred and the secular have blurred. And because God continually reveals Himself to me in every aspect of my life, I know I will never be alone. Bo Sanchez (

Reflection: “When you can see God in small things, you’ll see God in all things.” (Donald L. Hicks)

Dear God, I open my whole life to You. Continue to reveal Yourself to me.


April 01, 2016

REFLECTION: Like many gospel scenes, the scene in today’s gospel reading can be understood at two levels: the level of facts (what actually happened, who did what, who said what, where did the action take place, at what time, etc.), and the level of meaning or significance (what the author wants to express at a deeper level, using symbols to convey this deeper meaning).

At the factual level John is re­calling a miraculous catch of fish and a post-resurrection appearance of Jesus. But, since Peter is the main character of the story and Peter is the Head of the Church under Jesus, the author is telling us that Peter and his boat represent the Church symbolically. Now, as long as the Church is working independently of Christ, it achieves nothing. But, when Christ enters the picture and Peter follows his instructions (in a great act of faith), then the Church is immensely successful. Incidentally, St. Jerome claims that Greek zoologists of his time catalogued 153 species of fish—in other words, the Church reaches all peoples of the world. One can notice, also, that John (because he is the closest friend of Jesus) is the first to recognize him. Love enables him to see what his companions cannot see.


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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

FRIDAY OF THE OCTAVE OF EASTER (YEAR C) – JUAN 21:1-14. UNSA MAN KADAKO ANG PAGSALIG SA DIOS KANATO? Gisugo sa Nabanhaw’ng Ginoo ang mga apostoles sa pagtaktak sa ilang pukot sa tuong dapit sa sakayan. Ug didto nakakuha sila og daghang isda. Dili nato kalimtan nga sa sinugdanan sa Iyang pagsangyaw, gisugo usab ni Hesus si Pedro sa pagtaktak sa ilang pukot. Ug human nila nakuha ang daghang isda, giingnan siya ni Hesus, “Sugod karon managat na kamo og mga tawo” (Lukas 5:4-11). Ang gisugo ni Hesus sa sinugdanan, gisugo niya pag-usab human sa Iyang pagkabanhaw. Ngano man? Kini tungod kay gusto ni Hesus nga hatagan og bag-ong kahigayonan ang mga apostoles nga nibiya kaniya sa kalbaryo. Nindot ang giingon sa usa ka magsusulat, “God gives us two gifts: one is choice, the other is chance. The choice of a good life and the chance to make it the best.” Posted by Abet Uy


Friday of the Easter Week

Acts 4: 1-12; Jn 21: 1-14

Out in the Sea of Tiberius

On this First Friday after the “Good” Friday and the Easter excitements, we have another apparition from the risen lord for our reflection. The miraculous fishing at the sea of Tiberius and the exciting and touching meeting of the Lord on its shores are here for our meditation. After the resurrection Jesus appears many times at different places and at different occasions to different groups of disciples helping them to come out of the stupefying slumber and the self destructive depression. He brings them slowly out to the light of truth and clarity of God’s plan of redemption and their role and mission in it. They are brought out. Peter says, “I am going out for fishing”. They have gained courage to face the world.

Still it is not enough. Still they are not ready to face the failures that await them. Still they are not strengthened to face the world head on. The final empowerment through the Holy Spirit is still away. They have to be mentally strengthened still more to understand the never failing presence of the Lord in all the adversities that await them in the coming days.

Out in the Sea of Tiberius, they are faced with failure once again. They do not catch any fish after the long night’s toil. There comes the sound from the safe shores, “Cast your net on the right side”. Sometimes a minor change of direction may be enough to gain success. But the gloom of the impending failure makes vision blurred. An external divine prompting is necessary at such times. Jesus’ timing of making himself known to the needy disciples is when they are totally at a loss and when they wander without an anchor. Listen, the disciples won’t lose anything by following the Master’s orders. They will only gain. Keep the mind and heart open to receive the promptings of the Spirit.

On the shore the Master waits for the disciples. That too with sumptuous food cooked by himself. How great is the care and personal care of the Lord! Like a mother he waits for the tired children to serve them delicious food. His reassurance is that he will take care of everybody who leaves everything to serve him. They will not be in want of anything. Sure, the eaten food is never forgotten. The kindness of the giver lingers in the heart of the receiver. That is the ever strengthening reassurance a distressed, confused and failed disciple badly needs. Then he will face the world with the food eaten from the master’s hand and the love flowing from his heart. Thanks be to Jesus – the master chef. Dr.  Martin Mallathu CMI


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Friday of the Octave of Easter

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