The gospel of John is read at Mass these last days before the Feast of Pentecost. We’re brought to the Sea of Galilee where the Lord first called Peter and John and others to follow him. Now, from the shore the Risen Jesus calls them again. They’ve fished all night and caught nothing. Not only are their boats empty; some days earlier in Jerusalem they deserted the One they promised to follow forever. Their spirits are empty.
From the shore Jesus tells them to cast their nets into the sea again and an abundant catch of fish pours into their boats. Calling them ashore, Jesus feeds them some loaves and fish. As he did in the supper room the night before he died, Jesus offers them his life-giving love.
Taking Peter aside, he asks the disciple who denied him three times “Do you love me?” “Yes, Lord, you know I love you,” Peter answers three times. “Feed my sheep,” Jesus tells him.
Then, renewing the invitation he made at this same shore at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus says to his disciple, “Follow me.”
The Feast of Pentecost is a feast for a church that has failed, for disciples facing their weakness and broken promises, for those who work and have nothing to show for it. The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus breathed upon the disciples after his resurrection, comes to our world as he promised, to renew the face of the earth. “Come follow me,” the life-giving Spirit says.