Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket-sized devotional featuring key passages of Jesus' own words to St. Faustina, following themes such as trust, deeds of mercy, and ... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Apr 17, 2009)
Readings: Acts 4:1-12; Jn 21:1-14
When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire. Jn 21:9
In today's Gospel, Peter and six of the other disciples have been fishing all night, but have caught nothing. Jesus shows up on the shore (once again, they don't recognize Him), and tells them where to cast their nets. They obey and are rewarded with a huge catch. Realizing that it's Jesus, Peter excitedly jumps into the water.
For Peter, it must have brought back the memory of an earlier scene when he was first called to be a disciple. After a similar miraculous catch of fish, Jesus had told him he was to be a fisher of men (see Lk 5:1-11).
From that time on, he had followed Jesus. But then had come that terrible night when he had denied Jesus three times. And now, as he approached the shore, he was about to be reminded of that event, too, for there was "a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread" (Jn 21:9).
What's a charcoal fire have to do with anything? The only other place in the New Testament where we see a charcoal fire is in the courtyard of the high priest where Peter denied Christ (see Jn 18:18).
Christ is about to put Peter in charge of His flock, but first there's healing needed. So He builds a charcoal fire to lead Peter back to the time of his sin. Then comes the tender dialogue of mercy: Do you love Me? ... Yes, Lord. ... Then feed My sheep (see Jn 21:15-17). Three times Peter is allowed to reaffirm his love for Jesus to make up for the three denials.
How wonderful to know that the same mercy is available to us. Whenever we fail, Jesus stands there at the shore of our sin, waiting to build a charcoal fire and gently ask the question that matters above all else, "Do you love Me?"
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your infinite mercy. Don't ever let me cling to my sin and guilt, but lead me to the shore of Your love for forgiveness and healing. Amen. Alleluia!