GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 21ST APRIL 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 21ST APRIL 2017
FIRST READING: Acts 4:1-12
PSALM: Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27
GOSPEL: John 21: 1-14
THEME: BY THE FIRESIDE
Sitting by the fireside in the socio-cultural world of the Bible is very significant. In a world where there is no electricity, fire does not only bring light and warmth but also serves as a rallying point where stories are told and memories relived.
The expression “charcoal fire” appears twice in the New Testament. The first instance is John 18:18 and the second is John 21:9. In the first instance, Peter, in front of a “charcoal fire”, denies his master three times. In the second instance, Peter encounters the very person he denied by a “charcoal fire.” This is the context of the Gospel text for today.
By the fireside on the shores of the sea of Tiberias, Jesus prepares a meal for Peter, the man who had denied him, and says to him and the other disciples, “Come and have breakfast” (Jn 21:12). This encounter between Peter and his master was not one of judgement but healing. The resurrected Christ chooses to heal the wounded memory of Peter with the power of love. In fact some few verses further (see Jn 21: 15-17), Jesus, with a threefold question, offers Peter the opportunity to reaffirm his love for him three times as a personal restitution for the three times he denied him.
The resurrection of Jesus brings forgiveness and healing. We too may have certain places and events that evoke memories of pain and shame. Perhaps, we carry a burden of guilt on account of a choice we made that led to a denial of our master and saviour Jesus Christ. In this season of Easter, the resurrected Christ leads us down memory lane, not to condemn us but to offer us the opportunity to be forgiven and healed. He sets a table before us and says, “Come and have breakfast”.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, many times I have walked away from you but you always come in search of me. Your love for me is beyond measure. Renewed by the Eucharistic food that you offer me daily, I pledge my love for you and resolve to follow you anew. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen).