Prayer of Easter

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

John 21,1-14

Later on, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this: Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said, 'I'm going fishing.' They replied, 'We'll come with you.' They went out and got into the boat but caught nothing that night. When it was already light, there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus. Jesus called out, 'Haven't you caught anything, friends?' And when they answered, 'No,' he said, 'Throw the net out to starboard and you'll find something.' So they threw the net out and could not haul it in because of the quantity of fish. The disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 'It is the Lord.' At these words, 'It is the Lord,' Simon Peter tied his outer garment round him (for he had nothing on) and jumped into the water. The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net with the fish; they were only about a hundred yards from land. As soon as they came ashore they saw that there was some bread there and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it. Jesus said, 'Bring some of the fish you have just caught.' Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net ashore, full of big fish, one hundred and fifty-three of them; and in spite of there being so many the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' None of the disciples was bold enough to ask, 'Who are you?'. They knew quite well it was the Lord. Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Christ is risen from the dead
and will die no more.
He awaits us in Galilee!

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Apostles, who had abandoned their nets by the lake to become fishers of people (Lk 5:10), go back to be fishermen. Now, when Jesus appears to them and they do not recognize him, the same scene of the beginning happens again. Even this time they had fished in vain all-night long. It is the experience of a fruitless work, the experience of thoughts, worries, and frets that do not lead to anything. Without the light of the Gospel it is indeed difficult to work and bear fruit. But with Jesus the dawn of a new day rises. The Apostles see him and yet they do not recognize him as they are trapped in their resignation. However, despite their weariness, they obey Jesus' words. Maybe the instinct of listening to the Gospel - how beautiful this instinct that comes from the habit of listening - pushes them to try and to cast the nets on the other side. The catch is abundant, beyond any measure. At this point they recognize the Lord. The effectiveness of the Gospel opens their eyes and hearts. Maybe they now understand better what Jesus had told them in the past: "Apart from me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5). Only with the Lord is what seems impossible possible. And the disciple of love realizes this. He recognizes the Lord and tells it immediately to Peter who, overwhelmed by joy, jumps into the sea to swim to Jesus. On the shore, the disciples relive their communion with their Master. Jesus has already prepared the charcoal fire and he is waiting for the fish caught by the miraculous catch. It is the banquet of the Risen One with his friends. The words of the evangelist recall those of the multiplication of the bread and the Eucharist. And indeed, the Eucharistic Liturgy is the place where the community of the disciples is built, the place of the multiplication of love.