The Seven Appearances of Jesus After the Resurrection: #4 Invited: Feed My Sheep

By Fr. Ron Will

In today’s meditation, we return to the Sea of Galilee and find seven of the Disciples there fishing and trying to make sense of the death and resurrection of Jesus. The Teacher has already appeared to them three times. Last week, you recall, (See John 21: 2-14) that Jesus met Peter, James and John, Thomas, Nathanael and two others of his disciples on the lake shore. He had a breakfast of roasted fish and bread for them, which he broke and shared.

Can you imagine the emotions (and questions) these men must have experienced? I think the song we’ll sing in today’s meditation must capture part of what they were feeling:

There is a longing in our hearts for you, O Lord, to reveal yourself to us.
There is a longing in our hearts for love we only find in you, Our God.

We read further into John’s Gospel this week (John 21:15-17) and find Jesus addressing himself directly to Simon Peter. Some scholars call this scene, the series of “Do you love me” questions Jesus that parallel Peter’s denial of Jesus, the “Restoration of Peter.”

Christ’s Charge to Peter, 1515 by Raphael - Victoria and Albert Museum, Public Domain
Christ’s Charge to Peter, 1515 by Raphael – Victoria and Albert Museum, Public Domain

Again I invite you to enter into this contemplative prayer by finding a comfortable place to sit. Settle yourself. Relax. Let go of distractions and tensions you many feel. Let of all on your “to-do list” for today.

Take a few deep breaths. Breathe in the new life of spring and Easter. Breathe out any negative thoughts, any anxieties.

And let us begin.

[Fr. Ron Will, a Precious Blood priest and spiritual director, is a graduate of Catholic Theological Union and Creighton University’s School of Christian Spirituality. He has a special interest in helping form intentional disciples of Jesus, encouraging others to go spiritually deep-sea diving to explore a deeper relationship with God, and walking with people as they dive into the ocean of God’s mystery actually experiencing God rather than simply dipping one’s toe into the water.]

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