Reading 1, ACTS 4:1-12
Responorial Psalm, Psalms 118:1-2 and 4, 22-24, 25-27A
Gospel, JN 21:1-14
“[Pray] also for me, that speech may be given me to open my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains, so that I may have the courage to speak as I must.” –Ephesians 6:19-20
In this letter to the Ephesians, St Paul is asking two separate times for boldness and courage in the way he speaks for the Lord. As men, we must humble ourselves to ask for the same prayers in order to spread and live out the Gospel. Todays passages are reminders of how we are to evangelize and what to expect when we do so with and without Jesus Christ in our lives. On this Friday in the Octave of Easter we find ourselves where we first met the disciples: the Sea of Galilee.
In Galilee, because they were told that was where they would see Jesus (MK 16:7), Peter decides to go fishing and the rest of the disciples follow. Here we see the first challenge in living out the Gospel: What do you want me to do? We can ask this question of God as each new chapter in life approaches and like Peter we are simply called to take action. When we take initiative God will appear and guide the way. By not catching any fish by the time Jesus appears we can see that action without Christ leads to failure. “‘Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.’
So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish.” (JN 21:6) Jesus not only guides the way of Peter’s choice but fulfills a promise in abundance.
In recognizing Jesus through the abundance promised through his word, we see Peter jump from the boat without hesitation to meet him. We are called as a community to pray for the same boldness in each other. That with confidence and initiative comes fulfillment of the Holy Spirit to aid us. We can see this with Peter when he responds to the High-Priest who question his and John’s healing of the cripple. We must believe and proclaim through the Holy Spirit that “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Confident witnessess are filled with the Holy Spirit. Confident witnessess spend much time with Jesus and learn from Him. Confident witnessess testify on what they know for certain: that Jesus is the only way of salvation. Pray with todays readings and Gospel in order to spend a little more time and learn from Jesus. Brothers in Christ, as the Holy Spirit fills you this Easter season, pray for this confidence and boldness for us all.