The readings of today are interesting, especially regarding Peter and the disciples. A few weeks earlier they were trembling from fear, and they all ran away. Now in the Reading from Acts of the Apostles we see them empowered by the Holy Spirit to answer the challenge put to them by the Sanhedrin. Peter proclaims, “We must obey God rather than men.” Here he leads the way for us, showing the courage that comes from being disciples of the Lamb!
In today’s Gospel passage from John 21 we meet Peter once again and we see his courage and determination. When he heard “It is the Lord” he grabbed his cloak for he was naked, and he jumped into the lake. He went to Jesus while the others come behind him in the boat. We imagine Jesus looking at Peter jumping into the lake and coming to him. It is an image of great love. Remember that on Sunday morning while it was still dark Mary came to the tomb. She could not find the body, so she ran to tell Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved. Together they run to the tomb. I think that all this running in the early morning is a sign of great love.
Returning to this peaceful scene on the lakeshore, we have many moments worthy of reflection. At the lake the opening words are, “Gathered there together were Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee and two others. The gathering has started; he is “gathering into one the dispersed children of God.” And did they celebrate the Eucharist? “Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them.”
After they had eaten, Jesus asks Peter three times, “Simon Peter do you love me more than these?” We know his answer and that the third time Peter becomes impatient and says, “Lord you know everything, you know I love you.” This answer is surely deserving of our attention because here Peter represents all genuine disciples. So, in our peaceful, prayer moments and with eyes closed, can we honestly join with Peter and say, “Lord you know everything, you know I love you”?