Third Sunday of Easter - 5th May, 2019

Liturgical Reflection

Acts 5:27-32;40-41; Apocalypse 5:11-14; John 21:1-19



There is such joy in reading the accounts of Jesus’s appearances to his disciples after his resurrection.  The two that rank as my favourites are today’s story of his appearance on the shores of the Sea of Tiberias and his appearance on the Road to Emmaus!

In both of these stories, the disciples fail to recognise Jesus.  In both, Jesus is beautifully gracious in addressing them and reverent in the sacramental nuances of his actions, seen as Eucharistic, in today’s story: “Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them,” and also in his eagerness to break open the word on the Road to Emmaus.

The Gospel reading today is a very long one and an alternative shorter version is given.  In addition to the miraculous draft of a hundred and fifty-three large fish, we read also, but missing from the shorter version, of Jesus’s triple questioning of Peter, asking does he love Him, and of Peter’s triple reassurance given a little uneasily as he no doubt makes the connection with his triple denial of Jesus on the night of his Passion.  Jesus’s three responses, “Feed my lambs,” “Tend my sheep,” and “Feed my sheep” are generally seen as a commissioning of Peter by Jesus to look after the Church.  This is not the only commissioning, but the only one following his triple denial.

Sr Helen Ryan OP