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The Easter Octave - Wednesday





 

Wednesday in Easter Week: His Apparition on the Borders of the Lake of Tiberias


After this Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias, where they had fished all the night and had caught nothing. And when the morning was come, Jesus stood on the shore: yet the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus therefore said to them: Children, have you any meat? They answered Him: No. He saith to them: Cast the net on the right side of the ship: and you shall find. They cast therefore; and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. The disciple then whom Jesus loved said to Peter: It is the Lord. Simon Peter, when he heard that it was the Lord, girt his coat about him and cast himself into the sea. But the other disciples came in the ship. As soon then as they came to land, they saw hot coals lying, and a fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith to them: Bring hither the fishes which you have now caught. Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of great fishes, one hundred and fifty-three. And although there were so many the net was not broken. Jesus said to them: Come and dine. And none of them durst ask Him: Who art Thou? knowing that it was the Lord. And Jesus cometh and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish in like manner.


Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation


We will meditate tomorrow upon the apparition of Jesus Christ to His apostles on the borders of the lake of Tiberias, as it is recounted in the gospel of the day, and we shall see: first, what Jesus Christ did for His apostles in this apparition; second, what the apostles did for Him. We will then make the resolution: first, in our relations towards our neighbour to imitate the charity of Jesus Christ in this circumstance; second, to bring to the services of God the courage of the apostles and their docility to grace. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words which St John applied to Jesus Christ at that time, “It is the Lord” (John xxi:7).


Meditation for the Morning


Let us adore Jesus Christ impelled by love to show Himself to His apostles on the shores of the lake of Tiberias. Let us thank Him for this delicate attention bestowed on His dear disciples, and let us ask Him to give us an abundant share in the grace of this mystery.


What Jesus did for his apostles in this apparition


The apostles having fished all night without taking anything, had nothing on which to subsist. Jesus takes pity on their distress and comes to them. “Children” He says to them, “have you any meat?” (John xxi:5) What amiable forethought! What paternal solicitude in this Divine Saviour! He is about to provide for their wants, but let us see on what condition: it is on condition that they will labour. For labour is the law imposed on all the children of Adam, and idleness is their ruin. “Cast the net” He said to them, “on the right side of the ship” (John xxi:6). Mysterious words, which signify that in all our actions there is a good and a bad side; the essential thing is to choose the right side. The good side is the side of God, and not that of the creature; We ought always to consider God alone, without seeking ourselves or paying any attention to human opinions. The good side is the side of grace, and not that of nature; we ought not to be led to anything by natural inclinations, but by the movements of grace, which alone ought to regulate our whole conduct, our recreations, and our repose, as well as our affairs and our employments. The good side is the side of heaven and not of earth; we ought to govern ourselves by eternal maxims, like heavenly-minded men, who do not touch the earth except from pure necessity. The good side, lastly, is the side of the cross, and not that of delights and of pleasure; we ought to attach ourselves to the cross, which is the portion of the elect, and not to the enjoyments of this life. What blessings we lose from want of observing these holy rules! Whilst the apostles were executing the command which had been given them, Jesus lights the fire, cooks the fish, lays the table, puts bread upon it, and when all is ready, “Come and dine,” He says to them. They come, bringing to shore their net which contained one hundred and fifty-three great fishes; and with His divine hands He Himself serves His dear disciples. Who would not admire the charity of Jesus Christ in this circumstance? a foreseeing charity, which could not bear to see His disciples Suffer without relieving them; a generous charity, which, in order to render them a service, condescends to perform with delight the most humble functions; an amiable charity, which studies how to give pleasure to our neighbour.


What the apostles did for Jesus Christ in this apparition


Four things are worthy of remark in the conduct of the apostles: first, they immediately obey the command of the Saviour; they cast their net where Jesus had told them, and the fishes were gathered together there. They, who until then had taken nothing, catch at one single throw, as soon as they obey, one hundred and fifty-three great fishes. Let us imitate them; let us always be docile to grace; let us do all through obedience, from the desire to please God, in the manner in which God wills, and we shall be blessed in all our works.


Second, the apostles did not at first recognise Jesus Christ; it was necessary in order to do so that they should have a special grace and a special light, and how few there are who render themselves worthy of this grace! how few who apply themselves to recognise Jesus Christ in His mysteries, in His doctrine, and in His love; how few see and recognise His hand in all events, be they good or unhappy. To know Jesus is the science of the saints, it is the privilege of love and purity, as we may see by the example of St John, who was the first of the apostles to recognise His good Master, and to exclaim: “It is the Lord.


Third, on hearing these words of the virgin disciple, Peter girds his coat about him and casts himself into the water that he may sooner reach the feet of Jesus. The ardour of his desires makes him oblivious of danger and difficulty. Fervent hearts spare themselves nothing. As soon as there is a question of serving God, they devote themselves and throw themselves forward, whilst the cowardly and lukewarm hesitate, are wanting in resolution, and are afraid of trouble.


Fourth, the apostles, during their repast, behave in a respectful manner, they adore, they admire, they enjoy in silence the sweetness of the conversation and the looks directed upon them by Jesus; but no one dare ask Him: “Who art Thou? knowing that it was the Lord” (John xxi:12). It is thus that faithful souls act; the goodness of Our Lord so confounds and humiliates them that they dare not interrogate Him or put vain questions to Him or indulge in vain re searches, knowing that it is the Lord, all of whose conduct requires from us veneration and love. The nearer they are to Him, the more respect they have for Him; and if sometimes they ask, Who art Thou? it is only with the object of knowing Him better, that they may humble themselves for their littleness in presence of such greatness. Lord, I dare not lift my eyes to look at Thee, or open my mouth to speak to Thee! I am nothing but a miserable worm crawling to Thy feet in the dust, poorer and more miserable than I can understand; I am nothing, I can do nothing. Thou alone art good, just, and holy; pour down on me Thy infinite mercy.



Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.



 



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