Friday in Easter Week
Saint for the day: St. Martin I (d.655)
“The sign on the shop door read: Gone Fishing!”
This somewhat familiar saying packed with it a sense of, “I’ve had it! I need to get out of this ‘rut.’ I’m going fishing!”
The disciples are still in a quandary about what’s happened. They have a myriad of stories about the risen Lord but they are confused: “we thought He was to be the one who would free us from the tyranny of living under an oppressive government” and here they are: not any different from before.
We have to remember that the Gospels are the written record of the preaching of the early Church and are intended to give us ample examples of what it means to follow Christ. Contrary to some of the popular “prosperity gospel preaching,” the early followers of Jesus felt abandoned and alone so they did what many of us would do: they went fishing!
That is, they went back to their old ways forgetting all the blessings they had experienced in the short time of walking with Jesus. Even when they experience a miraculous catch of fish they forget that Jesus told them, “from now on you will catch people not fish.”
This section of the Gospel of John is thought by many scripture scholars to be an appendage that was added on later to further remind us of all that Jesus promised. So we are given some more examples of how it all fits together. The images are all there if we have eyes to see: the whole sense of the failure of a night’s fishing (like being tossed on a stormy sea); Peter’s jumping out of the boat (but not sinking this time); Jesus fixing breakfast of bread and fish (the multiplication of the loaves story.) It all goes back to the simple fact that we can never find full happiness going back to the way we were but always have to be in this now moment of salvation and ready to get on the way … whatever that might mean for each of us. Amen!