Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon - Right Praise, Right Order

Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon - Right Praise, Right Order

Bishop Robert Barron 
Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon - Right Praise, Right Order 

Friends, the last stanza of a poem, the last chapter of a novel, or the last lines of a play are of extraordinary significance, but only if you’ve read the whole work up to that point. Similarly, to understand the book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, we have to attend to the great sweep of the story beginning in Genesis. The thrust of that biblical narrative—that we are meant to give God right praise, and from right praise follows right order—reaches its culmination in Christ, the Lamb who was slain, who brings the whole universe together in right praise. 

May 1,2022 
Third Sunday of Easter 
Gospel: Jn 21:1-19 

At that time, Jesus revealed himself again to his disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. He revealed himself in this way. Together were Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We also will come with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” They answered him, “No.” So he said to them, “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. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord.” 

When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, for they were not far from shore, only about a hundred yards, dragging the net with the fish. When they climbed out on shore, they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” So Simon Peter went over and dragged the net ashore full of one hundred fifty-three large fish. Even though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” And none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they realized it was the Lord. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish. This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead. 

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to Simon Peter a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Simon Peter answered him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” Jesus said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that Jesus had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.” 
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Bishop Robert Barron

Friends, we must attend to the mystical depth of today’s Gospel. At the break of dawn, the disciples spy a mysterious figure on the distant shore who shouts out to them, “Children, have you caught anything to eat?” When they answer in the negative, he instructs them to cast the net over the right side of the ship. When they do, they bring in a huge catch of fish. 

This fishing expedition is a symbol of the Church (the barque of Peter), across space and time, at its apostolic task of seeking souls. The life and work of the Church, John seems to be telling us, will be a lengthy, twilight struggle, a hard toil that will often seem to bear little or no fruit. But after the long night, the dawn of a new life and a new order will break, the transfigured world inaugurated by Jesus. The catch of fish that he makes possible is the totality of people that Christ will gather to himself; it is the new Israel, the eschatological Church.

We know this through a subtle bit of symbolism. When the fish are dragged ashore, John bothers to tell us their exact number, 153—a figure commonly taken in the ancient world to signify the total number of species of fish in the sea.

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HỘI DÒNG NỮ ĐA MINH GÒ VẤP: Bishop Barron's Sunday Sermon - Right Praise, Right Order
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