Acts 5:27-32, 40-41
Let us pray.
your followers recognized you in the sharing of a meal.
Help us to recognize you in all people.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Opening Life Reflection
On this Third Sunday of Easter we celebrate that the Risen Christ is present with us. The disciples recognize the resurrected Jesus when they share a meal. To emphasize the significance of sharing a meal, begin today’s session with a place- mat making activity. Provide each child with a large sheet of construction paper and crayons. Invite the children to design place mats using symbols for things that nourish them. Offer suggestions such as food, family, friends, and God. Then discuss:
- Describe what it is like to share a meal with family or friends.
- How does sharing a meal nourish and strengthen you?
- Why did Jesus share meals with his friends?
Allow time for discussion. Sharing a meal with others gives us strength and nourishment. The first disciples recognized the resurrected Jesus while sharing a meal together. We celebrate Jesus’ presence when we share the Eucharistic meal.
Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from Acts listen to how the disciples suffer for the sake of Jesus.
Read Acts 5:27-32, 40-41.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- What does the High Priest accuse the apostles of doing?
- How do they respond?
- How are the apostles punished?
- What is their reaction to their persecution?
In the gospel today the resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples. Listen to what happens when they share a meal.
Read John 21:1-19.
Allow for silence.
- What are the disciples doing when Jesus calls out to them?
- What happens when the disciples put the net where Jesus tells them?
- What meal do they share together?
- When do the disciples recognize the resurrected Jesus?
- What does Jesus ask Peter three times?
- How does Peter answer Jesus?
- What does Jesus ask Peter to do?
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.
In the reading from Acts, the apostles are interrogated by the High Priest because they are teaching in the name of Jesus, when they have been given orders not to. Peter and the apostles courageously claim that they obey God and not any human authority. The power of the Holy Spirit is evident in the lives of the apostles as they face persecution. They go on their way rejoicing that they are willing and worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Today’s gospel begins with the disciples having little success catching fish. Then Jesus appears and tells them where to cast their nets. The result is a catch so great that the nets are bulging. This passage reminds us of the beginning of John’s gospel, when the call of the disciples to share in the mission of Jesus is described in terms of catching fish. The full nets in today’s gospel suggest that the disciples will take on their mission of evangelization with great success.
The breakfast that is shared on the beach brings the substance of the work of Jesus and the disciples to the table. And in breaking bread together all the disciples know that the risen Lord is with them.
After the meal Jesus asks the disciple who betrayed him three times a question. He asks this question three times, “Peter do you love me?” Each time Peter answers, “Yes,” and Jesus responds with a request, “Feed my sheep.” Like a shepherd who cares for his flock, Peter is being asked to nourish and care for all people. Peter is being called to follow Jesus and in doing so to give his very life.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- When do you recognize that Jesus is with you?
- How can you help others to recognize Jesus?
- When do you celebrate Jesus’ presence at a meal?
If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Eucharist and Mission
The call to follow Christ carries with it a charge to go out and serve the world, giving witness to the good news of the kingdom of God. The first disciples were willing to give their lives to carry out this mission. They were nourished and strengthened by the risen Christ.
The risen Christ nourishes us as well. Catholics believe that the Eucharist strengthens and nourishes believers for the mission of Christ. The Eucharistic meal increases our love for the poor and it renews our faith. The Eucharistic liturgy, the Mass, nourishes us to go forth and spend our lives in service for the life of the world.
- How is celebrating Eucharist like sharing a family meal?
- How does celebrating Eucharist nourish you?
- How are you sent forth to carry on the work of Jesus?
The Gospel in Life
Think of ways that you can go out and serve the world. Choose one thing that you can do this week.
Connecting to Be My Disciples
Grades 4, 5, 6, all Disciples Power reviews
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Grade 4, page 271 Parish and page 375 School
Grade 5, page 271 Parish and page 375 School
Grade 6, page 271 Parish and page 375 School
Blest Are We
Grade 4, chapter 13
Grade 5, chapter 5
Grade 6, chapter 20