Charity registration No. SC002876   Sunday April 14th. 2013 Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Main Menu The Apostles were eager to put the trauma and disgrace of Good Friday out of their minds, and so they slipped back to as it was before Jesus called them.  They had just come back from a night's fishing, empty- handed.   A stranger on the shore urged them to cast their nets once more and the result was a miraculous catch of fish.  At that moment they recognised Jesus and accepted his invitation to share breakfast with him at the lakeside.  In Pilate's courtyard Peter, with curses and oaths, had denied to the servants that he knew Jesus, and now all the memories of that night of how unfaithful he had acted came flooding into his mind.  knew exactly how he felt and offered him an opportunity to renew love and loyalty and find peace of soul,: Three times our Lord asked him: Peter, do you love me?  By his confession of faith, Peter  was restored to his position as head of the apostles and given the commission to guard the whole flock in Christ's name, a role that would lead to his death.  The Good Shepherd left his Church in the charge of a man who had failed him, which shows that Christ's call does not exclude because of our falls.  Peter came to know God's grace through failure.  Often failure can be the finger of God pointing the way, awakening within us an awareness of our  own weakness.  Whatever it was that lakeside gathering , it restored Peter's confidence, gave him the strength to renew his faith and throw into the spreading of the gospel.  The challenge Christ presented to Peter, 'Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others?' is the same challenge facing us.  As followers of Christ, we are to make that same commitment in a world that is becoming ever more secular and anti-Christian. The miraculous catch of fish symbolises the bringing of all people into the reach of God's mercy.  The Church will gather, into one unbroken net, men and women of every race, colour and nationality.  The office of Peter has been passed down the centuries.  During 2000 years of papal history some unworthy characters were elected through the influence ofpowerful families, such as the Borgias.  Then there was a long period during the 14th century when the popes had to live in France at the papal palace in Avignon instead of Rome because of the religious politics of the time and division within the Church.  Yet the marvel of this was that the Church survived and continued to be guided by the Holy Spirit and maintain its unity.  Lord MacAulay, the great 19th century historian, who was not a Catholic, wrote these famous words: There is not and there never was on this earth a work of human policy so well deserving of examination as the Roman Catholic Church.  The history of that Church joins together the two great ages of human civilisation.  No other institution is left standing which carries the mind back to the times when the smoke of sacrifice rose from the Pantheon, and when leopards and tigers bounded in the Flavian amphitheatre.  The proudest Royal houses are but of yesterday when compared to the line of the Supreme Pontiffs.  The line we trace back in an unbroken series from the Pope who crowned Napoleon in the nineteenth century to the Pope who crowned Pepin in the eighth; and far beyond the time of Pepin the august dynasty extends, till it is lost in the twilight of fable.  She saw the commencement of all the governments and of all the ecclesiastical establishments that now exist in the world; and we feel no assurance that she is not destined to see the end of them all.  She was great and respected before the Saxons had set foot on Britain, before the Franks had passed the Rhine, when Grecian eloquence still flourished in Antioch, when idols were still worshipped in the temple of Mecca.  And she may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St Paul`s. Peter—the failure who became Christ’ chosen one Reflection on this Sunday’s Gospel - the meeting with Jesus on the seashore