In this Biblical Reflection filmed at the site of the Primacy of Peter on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, speaks about the “breakfast symphony” in two movements in John 21.
The first movement describes the appearance of the Risen Jesus to his disciples “by the Sea of Tiberias.” It is concerned with fish and fishing. The second movement presents a poignant dialogue between Jesus and Peter. The disciple who was called “rock” wept with regret in Luke 22:62 after denying his Lord. At the sea, Peter is given an opportunity to repent and recommit himself to Jesus. It is one of the most personal and moving commissioning stories in the Bible, concerned with sheep and shepherding.
Peter is truly a model for us, as he must always remember his own failures as he undertakes leadership within the church. Rather than incapacitating him, his remembrance enables him to be a merciful and compassionate leader. Peter learned his lesson well; he would imitate Jesus the rest of his life even to the point of giving that life as a martyr, dying upside down on a cross on the Vatican hill.
Are we prepared to go to that extreme for our faith in Jesus?