Friday of Easter Week
Friday of Easter Week, 26th April 2019
Acts 4:1-12; Ps. 118(117):1-2,4,22-24,25-27; John 21:1-14
The last chapter of John’s Gospel is often referred to as an Appendix. This designation is not intended to reduce its value or spiritual importance. It contains several elements of St. John’s doctrine of the church. The boat is Peter’s boat: symbol of the church. There are several ways of explaining the 153 fish, and all explanations tend towards some emphasis on universalism: All peoples of the world are called to belong in Peter’s boat. Without Peter the other Apostles are not able to pull the net ashore: when Peter goes over to be with them they are successful: without Peter the church cannot successfully be the church that Jesus founded.
The chapter begins with the Apostles hanging around, waiting for Jesus to appear again. But Jesus does not appear: he only appears when they go fishing and spend an unsuccessful night, catching nothing. It is John, the true contemplative, the beloved disciple who recognizes Jesus on the shore. In the Church which is Peter’s boat the contemplative will often recognize God’s calling quicker than Peter, the hierarchical Church. Yet John does not get out of the boat to go to Jesus: he defers to Peter and it is Peter who goes to Jesus. We must all have a contemplative spirit and become beloved disciples of Jesus, but we must defer to Peter.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. O Lord, grant us salvation and bless our Pope Francis, the successor of St Peter. Amen.