Reflection for the Third Sunday of Easter

Written on: May 1, 2019

Sister Karen Marie Voltz GNSH provides us with a reflection on the readings from the third Sunday of Easter. Sister Karen was a teacher at Holy Angels Academy, and is now a pastoral visitor in the Buffalo area. Our thanks to Sr. Karen for sharing her insights on persistence!

Acts 5:27-32, 40-41
Responsorial Psalm 30:2, 4, 5-6, 11-12, 13
Revelation 5:11-14
Gospel: John 21:1-19

  • The First Reading says the apostles, and we, are witnesses for Christ.
  • The Second Reading extols: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain…”
  • However it is the Gospel [John 21: 1-14] that has always spoken to me!

Peter announces to some of the apostles that he is going fishing. It is night, a productive time to fish, and they are experienced fishermen.

They labored thru the night, but caught nothing. Returning at dawn, with empty nets, they see Jesus on the shore, but they don’t recognize Him. Perhaps it is not quite daylight. Perhaps like Mary in the garden on Easter, Jesus is not ready to reveal Himself to them.

This Stranger on the shore, is telling them, to lower their nets again. Dawn is not the time to fish. They have toiled all night, and have only “hauled in” failure- empty nets!

There is something in the stranger’s words: “Cast the nets…and you will find something” that makes them try again! Is it a desire to try again because someone has faith in them? They try and the nets are so full, they can’t haul them in.

How often have we labored at a profession, a project, a task, a  friendship- and have failed! Then someone asks us to try once again. Or, the Spirit inspires us to try one more time. Our emptiness, our futile efforts are rewarded.

A miracle we think, like the catch of fish!

However, only when invited to eat do the apostles “…realize it is the Lord.At that moment they recognize Jesus, because He had chosen to reveal Himself.

  • Jesus “…took the bread and gave it to them, and in a like manner the fish.
  • They recalled Him feeding the 5,000 with a few loaves and fish.
  • They remembered His words at the Last Supper, “Take and eat; this is My Body.
  • Like the disciples on the way to Emmaus, they recognized Jesus “in the breaking of the bread.”

Do we have the humility and faith when faced with failure to try again, to follow the promptings of Divine Providence, and others? It is our legacy to recognize the Risen Lord each time we gather together, and are nourished by Christ in the Eucharist!


Feature Photo: Matt/Unsplash


7 thoughts on “Reflection for the Third Sunday of Easter

  1. Claire Keighley says:

    Thank you. It was a beautiful reflection. I think we are always challenged to try again trusting Divine Providence to give us the grace.

  2. Sr. Maria Christi Drysdale, G.N.S.H says:

    Thanks, Karen for sharing your reflection.
    For me the perseverance in our vocation of serving God and his people in the various ministries has certainly reaped blessings in our life over the years.

  3. Michael McClure says:

    Have a blessed Easter Season Sunday

  4. Sr. Mary McMahon says:

    thanks Karen, an excellent reflection.

  5. Julia Lanigan says:

    Thanks, Karen, for this encouraging reflection.

  6. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you for your reflection. I had not thought about this Gospel as you described it. I remember this Gospel from a sermon at church many decades ago.

  7. Sr. Mary Teresa LaBrake, GNSH says:

    Karen, your reflection speaks of belief,but also trust. The Apostles trusted in the one who encouraged them to lower the net again, but on the opposite side. How right you are when you say “sometimes we are encouraged to go or do in a different way”.
    Many thanks,
    Sr. Mary Teresa LaBrake, GNSH

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