John 21 is one of my favorite chapters because it has so much mysticism behind its powerful symbolic references:
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.”
They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.
— John 21:3
Without Christ, there is no kingdom, no evangelization, no success.
That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea.
— John 21:7
John always recognizes Jesus first because it is always the contemplative rather than the active souls who will find God first.
So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
— John 21:11
Peter single-handedly carried the fish onto shore, prefiguring his papacy and leadership as the first Pope, which Jesus bestows him with.
The presence of charcoal fires happens only twice in John’s Gospel (18:18 and 21:9). In the first, Peter denies Christ three times. In the second, Peter proclaims his love for Christ three times, showcasing the mercy of God. The threefold proclamation of love was also Jesus commissioning Peter as Head of his earthly flock, for he is the rock upon which the church will be built, fulfilling Christ’s words in Mt 16:18.
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Image: Raphael, Christ’s Charge to Peter (1515-1516) / PD-US