If I was a bishop, my episcopal motto would be “Venite prandete.”
I’ve always loved this Gospel. There are so many great parts, including God making breakfast. I’ve always loved the fact that John specifically mentions that Jesus already has bread and fish prepared — and yet he asks Peter and the Apostles for some of their fish.
“When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there,
with fish lying on it, and bread.
Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.'”
I suppose there are a few different reasons for this. But what I chose to reflect on is the fact that He doesn’t need us – yet he wants us. He doesn’t need to let us cooperate with His work. He can do just fine without us. But He wants to use us and our gifts and talents. At the same time, we also have to realize we wouldn’t have those gifts and talents if it wasn’t for Him. And they can only be used with His help. “I don’t need your fish. But I want to feed you with your fish. But guess what? They’re not even your fish – you were only able to catch them with my help.”
The other part of the readings that prompted my reflection this weekend was from the first reading. I had one of those “I’ve never heard that before,” moments when I read the reading from Acts. Peter and John are before the Sanhedrin, getting called out because they’re preaching the Gospel of Jesus. The high priest says something interesting, which I hadn’t noticed before-
“…you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” (Acts 5:28)
Yes, that’s exactly what the Apostles want to do. Of course, the high priest doesn’t understand the power of his words (just like he didn’t in Jn 11:50). We need the blood of Jesus on us. We need to be baptized into his death so that we may be raised to new life with Him. (Romans 6:3) We need to wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev 22:14)
The accusation against Peter and John is true, although the crowd doesn’t realize how true it is. It reminded me of the crowd’s words in Mt 27:25, when Pilate wishes to wash his hands of the whole matter of Jesus. The people respond, “His blood be on us and on our children!”