Wednesday 7th September: New Beginnings

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

inguz-3

Scripture – John 21

After this, Jesus appeared again to the disciples, this time at the Tiberias Sea (the Sea of Galilee). This is how he did it: Simon Peter, Thomas (nicknamed “Twin”), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, thebrothers Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. Simon Peter announced, “I’m going fishing.”

The rest of them replied, “We’re going with you.” They went out and got in the boat. They caught nothing that night. When the sun came up, Jesus was standing on the beach, but they didn’t recognize him.

Jesus spoke to them: “Good morning! Did you catch anything for breakfast?” They answered, “No.” He said, “Throw the net off the right side of the boat and see what happens.”

They did what he said. All of a sudden there were so many fish in it, they weren’t strong enough to pull it in.

Then the disciple Jesus loved said to Peter, “It’s the Master!”

When Simon Peter realized that it was the Master, he threw on some clothes, for he was stripped for work, and dove into the sea. The other disciples came in by boat for they weren’t far from land, a hundred yards or so, pulling along the net full of fish. When they got out of the boat, they saw a fire laid, with fish and bread cooking on it.

Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught.” Simon Peter joined them and pulled the net to shore—153 big fish! And even with all those fish, the net didn’t rip.

Jesus said, “Breakfast is ready.” Not one of the disciples dared ask, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Master. Jesus then took the bread and gave it to them. He did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus had shown himself alive to the disciples since being raised from the dead.
After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

He then asked a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Master, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Shepherd my sheep.”

Then he said it a third time: “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was upset that he asked for the third time, “Do you love me?” so he answered, “Master, you know everything there is to know. You’ve got to know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I’m telling you the very truth now: When you were young you dressed yourself and went wherever you wished, but when you get old you’ll have to stretch out your hands while someone else dresses you and takes you where you don’t want to go.” He said this to hint at the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. And then he commanded, “Follow me.”

Reflection

I love this story of Peter. He has hit rock bottom, betraying Jesus by denying him only hours after promising that he would die for Jesus, and now Jesus asks him three times, once for each of Peter’s denials, “Do you love me”.

Peter is hurt, but it is a new beginning, offered freely to redeem the past, carrying him through and past the pain that went before.

Peter’s new beginning was not easy. He needed to face his past in order to move beyond it.

Starting at a new school, or going back to school, offers us a chance to shape our own new beginning, but to do so, we need to reflect on what it is that we want or need to change. Having identified what to change, we then need to work out what will help us to achieve that change.

Spend a moment thinking about what you would choose to do differently? It might be as simple as eating more healthily or drinking less. It might be trying to make more friends, or trying a new activity, or going regularly to church.

Work out what will help you to change and draw up a few simple steps that you can follow. But be kind to yourself, and if it doesn’t work out this year, there is always next year.

Prayer

God of new beginnings,
Help us to move beyond what is comfortable, to seek what is good, and trust you to lead us in the right ways. For you are always ready to forgive our frailities and failings, and gift us new starts, bringing resurrection life from empty tombs. In Jesus name. Amen.

Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us.

St Joseph, pray for us.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.