Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lectio Divina Meditation on the Third Sunday of Easter

Third Sunday of Easter Year C
April 18
“From Darkness to Light”

1. Lectio
John 21:1-19
Later on, Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples. It was by the Sea of Tiberias, and it happened like this: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two more of his disciples were together.
3 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.
4 When it was already light, there stood Jesus on the shore, though the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.
5 Jesus called out, 'Haven't you caught anything, friends?' And when they answered, 'No,' 6 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.
7 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.
8 The other disciples came on in the boat, towing the net with the fish; they were only about a hundred yards from land.
9 As soon as they came ashore they saw that there was some bread there and a charcoal fire with fish cooking on it.
10 Jesus said, 'Bring some of the fish you have just caught.' 11 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.
12 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.
13 Jesus then stepped forward, took the bread and gave it to them, and the same with the fish. 14 This was the third time that Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after rising from the dead.
15 When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?' He answered, 'Yes, Lord, you know I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my lambs.'
16 A second time he said to him, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' He replied, 'Yes, Lord, you know I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Look after my sheep.'
17 Then he said to him a third time, 'Simon son of John, do you love me?' Peter was hurt that he asked him a third time, 'Do you love me?' and said, 'Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.' Jesus said to him, 'Feed my sheep.
18 In all truth I tell you, when you were young you put on your own belt and walked where you liked; but when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and somebody else will put a belt round you and take you where you would rather not go.'
19 In these words he indicated the kind of death by which Peter would give glory to God. After this he said, 'Follow me.'

At Easter, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb. Today, we celebrate the resurrection of Peter from his own prison, the prison built on the foundations of his failures and unfaithfulness. The story tells how Jesus leads Peter from darkness to light. Peter, like many of us, lived with the shame of having denied Jesus, his greatest failure. But Jesus, by calling Peter again, point towards the light of resurrection. Failures do not mean that the world has ended. Failures should not prevent us from taking future risks. Jesus chooses Peter to carry on his mission, in spite of Peter’s failure and denial. By doing so, Jesus reminds Peter and us that when God calls us, God will never fail us. He never gives up on us. This is our hope of resurrection too. That we may rise from the ashes of our mistakes, our failures, our shame to continue Christ’s mission of ‘feeding his sheep.’

2. Meditatio
1. Picture the scene at the Sea of Tiberias. Picture the sound and the smell of the sea and the waves. Now picture the disciples gathering at the lakeside. What is happening? (Pause for 3 minutes)
2. Now imagine that you one of the disciples going out to fish. You may even imagine yourself as Peter. What are your feelings? Why have you lost hope in yourself? Why do you feel like giving up the mission of Christ to go back to your old way of life? (Pause for 3 minutes)
3. Imagine that you have caught nothing during the night. Imagine the frustration and sense of failure again. Now picture Jesus appearing on the seashore and waving to you. He is speaking to you but you do not yet recognise him as Jesus. But then someone shouts, “It is the Lord!” and all of a sudden you do recognise him. Imagine your feeling at having found Jesus. What do you do? (Pause for 3 minutes)
4. Picture yourself now on the shore and having a meal with Jesus. Jesus asks you to feed his sheep 3 times. What is your answer? How do you feel? Do you feel you that you would betray him or disappoint him again? Are you afraid to take up the challenge? (Pause 3 minutes)

3. Oratio
O Risen Lord, you revealed yourself anew to Peter, John and the other apostles
as they struggled in the waters of Lake Tiberias,
disheartened by another experience of failure.
We too have failed you many times
and have been tempted to give up and return to our old ways.
Yet, we thank you for not giving up on us.
Unworthy as we may be, we now commit ourselves again to the mission
which you have entrusted to us,
a mission to feed your sheep,
care for the little ones and
give witness to your resurrection.
We adore you, we love you, and
we commit ourselves to serve and give witness to you, now and forever.

4. Contemplatio
Contemplate by listening to God say to you “Do you love me? Then feed my sheep”.

5. Actio
1. Personal Life: Pray for missionaries, priests, religious and lay leaders who are committed to sharing the good news with others.
2. Communal Life: Discern a way in which your community can help the work of the Integral Human Development Ministry, e.g. care of migrants, poor, Orang Asli etc.

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