‘Come and have breakfast.’ A humble bar-b-que breakfast on the lakeside, a simple request set in extra-ordinary circumstances. What answer would you give? After a hard night of work (fishing in this case) and no doubt with grumbling stomachs, most people would welcome this invitation and Jesus’ disciples were no exception. In the light of day, once more recognising the risen Jesus, they eagerly accepted the breakfast offerings that were given to them as nourishment. One wonders if they felt the echoes of previous times when Jesus shared bread and fish with a crowd, or bread and wine with them. What would they be feeling? Surely they were renewed in a spirit of hope and joy from this further encounter with him. The resurrected Jesus continued to provide them with guidance and food for the journey, fuelling their desire to continue telling the Good News.
After eating together, Peter is asked three times about his love for Jesus and, in contrast to the dark night when he denied him three times, this time Peter is able to express his deep feelings for Jesus in his three affirmative and ever more insistent answers. The great love expressed by Peter is given direction by Jesus as he asks Peter to look after and feed his lambs and sheep. The baptised are charged with this mission also, to care for one another and feed each other with good things. Our words and actions each day should reflect the great love that Jesus showed for everyone, going above and beyond to help others, not looking for thanks and fame but seeking to encourage all to reflect God’s love for them through their daily encounters and decisions.
Are we able to recognise Jesus in our lives today, his presence in the dark times as well as the light, his generous offers of sustenance? It is Eucharistic food that renews our energy and gives us courage to live Jesus’ mission of love each day. With this encouragement, let us find many ways to share the great Christian love story through our lives.