Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13, 2012: Easter Friday

Today, in John's Gospel, we see the Risen Lord resume his teaching activity. The
colorful story of the disciples' fishing expedition is a treasure trove for our
own contemplation. Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." We may well speculate over the movements of the heart underlying Peter's sudden decision. Is he simply taking advantage of a leisurely "off-day"? Does he just need to "get
away" and "find himself" in his favorite pastime? Or does this decision represent, at a deeper level, Peter's interior wrestling match, between his former life as
a fisherman and his recent years of companionship with Jesus? Whatever his precise
motivations, we can certainly agree that Peter had "a lot on his plate." He no doubt takes all his personal baggage with him to the seas. His utter failure on the waters-but that night they caught nothing-signifies the barrenness of his attempt to "find
himself" apart from the Risen Lord. In his great compassion, Jesus inserts himself
into this hapless scene at precisely the right moment. Cast the net over the right side of the boat... The voice of the Master strikes the heart of the disciples,
and Peter cannot contain himself: he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea. The fellowship meal shared on the beach represents a critical moment in the disciples' Christian education: And none of the disciples dared to ask him, "Who are you?" because they realized it was the Lord. Slowly, but surely, they are learning...
-Mr. Bryan Y. Norton, SJ