A Fishy Number

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In today’s reading from Acts 4, Peter and John spend the night in the clink and the next day they proclaim Jesus to the powers that be. The Scripture tells us that Peter was “filled with the Holy Spirit.” As we should be!

In the Gospel reading from John 21, the disciples have an encounter with Jesus at the Sea of Tiberias. The boys had been out fishing all night and had caught nothing when Jesus (unbeknownst to them) told them to fish off the right side of the boat. They dragged the net ashore and found that they had caught one hundred fifty-three large fish. How do they know how many fish there were and what’s the significance of this number?

Fisherman were taxed according to the number of fish they caught. So there was probably a tax collector at the shore who made sure the fish were counted. As to the significance of the number, some of the Church Fathers have suggested that that (153) was the number of nations in the known world at the time. It signifies that Christ (symbolized by the fish) would be brought to every nation on earth. Now you know!

Father, may we bring Christ to every person we meet, and every place we go, just as the Apostles did. Amen.

Today’s Readings

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  • Martin: April 17, 2023

    We were told at mass, that the 153 represented every species of fish, which then represents the whole world.

  • Jeff: April 14, 2023

    Thanks for the info on 153. That number certainly stood out in the reading.
    I love the first reading when St Peter boldly proclaims to the elders that it is by Jesus’s name, the Nazorean, that he cured the cripple. Just gave me goosebumps!

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