Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Devotional Thoughts for the First Sunday after New Sunday

by Jose Kurian Puliyeril

Gospel Reading: St. John 21: 1-14

This is the portion where we learn about the third appearance of our Lord to His disciples after the resurrection. (See verse 14) When our Lord appeared before them, they could not identify him first as in the previous instances. (See St. John chapter 20:14) The only difference of the appearance is that this time our Lord did not appear in the closed doors, where as it is on the seashore. When the Apostles were in great fear, they were afraid to come out their room. The appearance of our Lord might have given the inspiration for the Apostles to move out and look for their livelihood. The human nature to look for the bread to satisfy their severe hunger must have encouraged them to return back to their original profession of fishing. We might argue that the Apostles did a severe mistake, they lost their vocation, and they forgot what was taught by their Master, they forgot the promise of their Lord etc. There is no meaning in finding fault with the Apostles. If we were in their place, we would have done much more badly deeds. We are redeemed from the bondage of sins and satanic powers, still in our daily lives how many times we are attracted by the worldly riches and worldly satisfactions. At times we forget that we are Christians even, such is our word, deed and thoughts. If so how we could find fault with the Apostles? The Apostles left their homes in search of their daily nourishment only, where as the modern Christians are just interested in accumulating worldly riches by hook or crook. How many times our conscious is alerting and cautioning us against talking and doing in non-Christian means and ways. Are we not selected by God to lead true Christian lives in the world there are no morals and principles. We have to live a Christian life in this world. No one should expect to have a better life just after death.

Verse 3 certifies that they could not catch anything, though they exhausted the whole night. They were professionals and they knew the conditions of the sea. Still their night- long effort was in vain. Our efforts whatever it might be will be in vain, if God is not there. Nothing + the grace of God is = everything/ Everything – the Grace of God is = nothing. Modern Christians are interested to celebrate the solemn and holy occasions like house warming, baptism of kids, marriages of children etc, with the foreign branded bottles. They are least bothered to invite a priest to lead the prayer and have blessings. It is better not to invite a priest and leaving him among a few children and ladies and gents do celebrate the occasion in the adjacent room. All must bear in mind that non- Christian deeds and words would enable the donor to crop calamities soon or in the near future. In the 4th verse we read “Jesus stood on the shore”. This reminds that He is with us always and everywhere, whether it is a holy place or not. He is watching us for our attention and turning towards Him. Lord Jesus was sure that they had nothing though they worked and toiled the whole night. But still He asked “Children, have you any meat?” They answered Him ‘no’. Then He says “Cast the net on the right side of the ship”. When we would submit our problems and shortages He would suggest us the ways to overcome the critical situations. But we must be optimistic. The Apostles did not refuse our Lord saying “why should we, we toiled the whole night” The Apostles obeyed our Lord.

Our Holy Church insists us to suffer a little in following the true faith with the system of prayer, worship where we have to stand long hours in the church and home, sometimes to kneel down and offer the alms giving. We often ignore the teaching of the Holy church and Church Fathers. The modern Christians need blessings in the instant style and manner. A few of us at least reach the Church with full knowledge or not, and submit a long list of our instantaneous requirements, not to God direct but through anyone of the saints. We could seek the intercessions of the saints, but we are not supposed to pray to Mother of God /any other saint. Worldly riches also will be granted by God, if we approach Him in the right way it should be.

We read in the 9th verse, “As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. This verse confirms our faith in our Lord God. He is a caring God and He loves us. He is interested in granting our needs. In Verse 10 we read, “Jesus said unto them, Bring of the fish which you have cow caught”. This is the base of offering the first portion of our crops, earnings or similar whatever it might be, to God Almighty. In our Churches we celebrate the feast of Harvest Festivals.

Our Lord God will come to us and near to us and will give us the bread and fish when we are hungry. May God bless us all.

See Also:

Sermon of the Week for the Second Sunday After Easter
by Rev. Dr. V. Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil

Devotional Thoughts for the First Sunday After New Sunday
by Rev. Fr. Mammen Mathew

Devotional Thoughts for the First Sunday after New Sunday
by Rev. Fr. Dr. George Pulikkottil

Devotional Thoughts for the First Sunday after New Sunday
by Rev. Fr. M. K. Kuriakose

Nothing Without God
by Rev. Fr. Laby Panackamattom

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