Peter’s Restoration | Questions


///John 21:1-19 – Peter’s Restoration

///John 21:1-19 – Peter’s Restoration

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The Catch, the Meal, and the Commitment



Spiritual Reflection Questions


1. Jesus was on the shore. John and the other disciples were in the fishing boat. Why do you think John recognized Jesus before the others? Discuss. There are four stories in this gospel: the appearance of Jesus to the disciples, the large catch of fish, the meal, and Peter’s commission. Which do you like to think about? Why?

2. When the disciples got to shore, Jesus said to them, “Come, have breakfast.” Would you say that to strangers or to your friends? Pope Francis suggests we cultivate the same everyday familiarity with Jesus that the disciples had.

SOURCE: The SUnday Website at Saint Louis University


Studying God’s Word

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This Sunday’s Gospel reading takes place sometime after Jesus’ second Resurrection appearance on the Sunday after Easter. The disciples have gone from Jerusalem, returning home to the Galilee region, and decide to resume their occupations as fisherman on the Sea of Tiberias (also called the Sea of Galilee or Lake Gennesaret depending on which shore of the lake you were standing. See Mark 1:16 and Luke 5:1). • After an unsuccessful night of fishing, Jesus appears on the shore. As in other appearances of Jesus (Luke 24:16; John 20:14), the disciples don’t recognize him. • Jesus then causes a miraculous catch of fish to appear, which must have reminded the disciples of one of their early encounters with him (Luke 5:11). At this point they recognize him and rush ashore to meet him, impetuous Peter leading the way. • Jesus goes on to remind them of many other things and to deliver a prediction.


  1. Reflecting on the First Reading, have you ever encountered opposition because of your religious beliefs? Did your attitude resemble that of the Apostles on this occasion?
  2. In the Second Reading, who is being referred to as “the Lamb”? What does it tell you about who is being praised and honored and why?
  3. n the Gospel, what might the disciples been discussing on the 90-mile journey from Jerusalem, after the Resurrection appearance (John 20:26), on their way to Galilee?
  4. In deciding to go fishing, do you think St. Peter just wanted something to do, or did he return to his old business for some other reason?
  5. Why did Jesus’ followers have trouble recognizing him after the Resurrection?
  6. Why do you think Jesus repeated the same question and charge to Peter three times (John 13:36-38; 18:15-18, 25-27)? How is Peter expected to demonstrate his love and loyalty to Jesus from now on? In light of Ezekiel 34 and John 10:15, what would Jesus’ shepherd imagery mean to Peter?
  7. What are verses 18 and 19 a prediction of? How has God’s call in your life led you to places, circumstances, or relationships you would rather have avoided? How has that been a “death” to self? How have you used it to glorify God?
SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study by Vince Contreras, Used with Permission

Junior High Scripture Discussion Starters

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  • Are the disciples catching any fish?
  • What does Jesus tell them to do?
  • What happens when the disciples do what 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?

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  1. How does Jesus nourish you?
  2. How would you answer Jesus’ question, “Do you love me?”
  3. How is Jesus calling you to “Feed my sheep?”
SOURCE: Lectionary Resources by RCL BENZINGER

Our Sunday Readings

Lambs of God

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SOURCE: Our Sunday Readings by Edrianne Ezell, Used with Permission


Sharing God’s Word

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  1. Turn to the person next to you and share what word/s or image/s in the readings caught your attention? Did they comfort or challenge you or touch you in some other way? The facilitator can decide which is more helpful: to share the next questions with the whole group, or to share in smaller groups of three or four.
  2. In the first reading, Peter says: “We must obey God rather than men.” Can you think of a situation when this was true or might be true for you ― when obeying God may mean disobeying some government law or even Church law?
  3. If asked how we love Jesus, what would we answer?
  4. What hinders you most when it comes to sharing your faith with others? If you have grown in this area, what, besides God’s grace, helps you to be more courageous in this area of your Christian life?
  5. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.

SOURCE: Commentaries on the Lectionary by Fr. Eamon Tobin (1947-2021), Used with Permission


Echoing God’s Word

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Jesus cements his love for Peter at a startling breakfast

1. I told a young person whom I was advising in personal matters to add up all his bills, so he would have a concrete and visual appreciation of what he owed. He did not want to because he felt overwhelmed by his debts! Do we not dare to count the blessings that God has given us for fear that we might not be sufficiently grateful? Do you have a clear idea of what your responsibilities are in your family, in your neighborhood, in the Church? One-hundred-fifty-three tasks? Or 153 blessings?

2. Why do you suppose Jesus chose to meet his friends on the shore of their familiar lake back home in Galilee, rather than in the Temple at Jerusalem? Do you think he might be saying that he encounters us where we are most “at home,” in the midst of our habitual tasks, right on the job? Where has Jesus found you? What were you doing when Jesus came to ask you if you loved him? Did you really need him right at that moment? How did he approach you? Was he not offering you the comfort of a “breakfast by the side of the lake?”

3. Have you ever been caught off guard by the overwhelming generosity of God on your behalf? Did you ever find yourself having to bring in a “haul” that you had not expected? Have you ever had a sense that you were being “fed and comforted” at breakfast” by the Lord? What was your reaction? How did you feel about that? What was the challenge that followed? Did you come to realize that you had to do some “feeding and comforting” of others in return? Did you resent that?

SOURCE: Echoing God’s Word by Clement D. Thibodeau (1932-2017), Used with Permission


Hearers of the Word

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Jesus took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish

Pointers for Prayer

1. The disciples spend a fruitless night fishing and catching nothing. Things change dramatically when Jesus appears and invites them to try again. Remember those who came to you and encouraged you to try again when you felt discouraged. Perhaps on some of these occasions the results were beyond your expectations.

2. The story can serve as a reminder that sometimes we are wasting our time if we try to work on our own without the Lord’s help. When have you found that your work or life was more fruitful when you acknowledged that you needed God’s help and you spoke to God about your need?

3. Peter is given the chance to be fully reconciled with his Master after his denial during the Passion. Remember those who have given you an opportunity for reconciliation after you had hurt them or let them down. What was it like for you to be given this chance? To whom have you off

PRAYER: God of life, in your risen Son, you reveal your abiding presence among us, and summon those reborn in baptism to lives of worship and service. Fill this assembly with reverence as we come before you in prayer. Grant us courage and zeal in bearing witness before the world to your Son, Jesus Christ, the first-born from the dead, for ever and ever. Amen. 2


Reflections by Bishop Jim Golka

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