Thursday, 5 September 2013 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Luke 5 : 1-11

One day, as Jesus stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, with a crowd gathered around Him listening to the word of God, He caught sight of two boats, left at the water’s edge by fishermen, now washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to pull out a little from the shore. There He sat and continued to teach the crowd.

When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing. But if You say so, I will lower the nets.” This they did, and caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. They signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came, and they filled both boats almost to the point of sinking.

Upon seeing this, Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Leave me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” For he and his companions were amazed at the catch they had made, and so were Simon’s partners, James and John, Zebedee’s sons.

Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. You will catch people from now on.” So they brought their boats to land and followed Him, leaving everything.

Sunday, 14 April 2013 : 3rd Sunday of Easter (Scripture Reflection)

Obey God, and not obey men! Indeed, we should obey God, our Lord first, before we obey men, just as what Peter had said to the chief priests and the Pharisees when he rebuked them for forcing them to abandon their mission to spread the Good News of the Lord. They did not obey men, and instead obeyed the Lord, and suffered in the process, from persecution and prejudice by the priests and many among the Jews.

But it is not to say that we should disobey all men, including our Church hierarchy, beginning with our Pope, down to our priests. No, indeed, we should still obey them, as long as they carry the will of God with them and through their words and actions, reflect the will of God. This is because by obeying those who are in the position of authority, and carrying the will of God, means that we obey God too at the same time.

Do not put our complete trust and obedience in men who are finite and flawed. For mankind is flawed and imperfect, and therefore are bound to make mistakes, which may affect many others, especially if we obey these flawed ideals from our earthly superiors. Place our complete trust and obedience instead in God, and indeed, in His chosen ministers, who are our priests and ordained ministers of the Lord, who had been chosen from among many, to serve Him and His beloved people.

Of course we should not be in open rebellion against our superiors, if we disagree with our earthly superiors. Rather, we should focus on prayer and concrete actions, that should be intended to help our superiors see light in their errors and flaws, and help themselves to improve and become better in the process. Help one another, superior and workers alike, that in doing that, all of us can then truly obey the will of God, and do good works for His sake, and for the sake of all mankind.

God protects us, and He showed us His great love and mercy, especially when we too love Him, and when we seek Him when we were lost. He showed His mercy to Peter, who had betrayed Him when He was under arrest, because of fear of man, and lacking strong faith in God. He showed His love and mercy, forgiving Peter as many times as he had betrayed Him before.

That is why we ought to put our trust in Him, because He can be trusted, and He is faithful to those who love Him. He recognised the faith in Peter, while it was weak and easily shaken by the arrest of Christ, Jesus recognised that in Peter was truly a strong faith like that of a rock, just as He had Himself given Peter the name, Peter, that means literally, the rock. It is His commissioning and forgiveness of Peter at the shore of the lake that day which marked the beginning of the transformation which Peter went through, from the fisher of fish, to a fisher of mankind.

No more would he catch fish for a living, but he would dedicate his life fully in the service of the Lord. To be a fisher of man is to spread the Good News of the Lord to many, so that they can be ‘ensnared’ in the faith, that they too would believe and then gain salvation through the faith in Christ. Peter’s obedience and profession of faith and love in Christ brought about the turning point in the history of our Church, that on that day, St. Peter, who would lead our Church as the first Pope, was truly reborn in faith and in God’s love.

Therefore, dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us strive to obey the will of God ever more, through our priests and our ordained ministers who represented God in our world. Pray for them, and pray for ourselves too, that we can follow in the example of Peter in professing our loyalty, sincerity, and love for our God, and presenting to Him a contrite heart full of regret, desiring to return to our God who loves us. Obey men too, as long as they too do the will of God, and when they do not, help them to see the light of God, that they too eventually will obey.

Let us also follow in the footsteps of the apostles who had become the fishers of men, instead of just fishers of fish. Let us go beyond our human limitation of seeking only to fulfill our own earthly needs, and instead, seek to bring the Word and teachings of our Lord to many who have yet to hear them, and who long to know Christ, our Lord.

May God protect us and bless us always with His blessings and grace, that we will always be obedient to Him and follow His examples. Amen.

Sunday, 14 April 2013 : 3rd Sunday of Easter (Gospel Reading)

John 21 : 1-19

After this, Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples by the Lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but they caught nothing that night.

When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred metres.

When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish.

This was the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after rising from the dead.

After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” And Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”

A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” Jesus said to Him, “Look after My sheep.” And a third time He said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.” Jesus then said, “Feed My sheep! Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.”

Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And He added, “Follow Me.”

 

Alternative Reading (Shorter version)

John 21 : 1-14

After this, Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples by the Lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but they caught nothing that night.

When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred metres.

When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish.

This was the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after rising from the dead.

Friday, 5 April 2013 : Friday of the Easter Octave (Gospel Reading)

John 21 : 1-14

After this, Jesus revealed Himself to the disciples by the Lake of Tiberias. He appeared to them in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas who was called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together; and Simon Peter said to them, “I’m going fishing.” They replied, “We will come with you.” And they went out and got into the boat, but they caught nothing that night.

When day had already broken, Jesus was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Jesus. Jesus called them, “Friends, have you anything to eat?” They answered, “Nothing.” Then He said to them, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat and you will find something.” When they had lowered the net, they were not able to pull it in because of the great number of fish.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Simon Peter put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and jumped into the water. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish; they were not far from land, about a hundred metres.

When they landed, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed into the boat and pulled the net to shore. It was full of big fish – one hundred and fifty-three – but, in spite of this, the net was not torn.

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” And not one of the disciples dared to ask Him, “Who are You?” for they knew it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and He did the same with the fish.

This was the third time that Jesus revealed Himself to His disciples after rising from the dead.