The daily gospel readings assigned for the week after Easter Day all focus on how and when the resurrected Jesus appears to those he knew and loved. Today’s reading from John has Jesus appearing to seven of the twelve disciples by the sea of Tiberias. The disciples have gone back to doing what they know how to do: they go fishing. And, after a long night at it, they catch nothing. At daybreak Jesus stands on the beach and directs them to throw the net over the opposite side of the boat and, of course, the net is overflowing with fish. Simon Peter is told that Jesus is the one on the beach, and, with his typical impulsiveness, doesn’t wait for the boat to come ashore but jumps into the sea to swim in to meet Jesus. Everything in this vignette seems almost normal. The disciples are doing what they know how to do (they have gone back to fishing), Jesus does what he seemed to always do (work a miracle and break bread with the disciples)….except that Jesus is dead and risen again. Jesus shows up when the disciples least expect him and in the midst of–what was for them–the familiar, the mundane, the ordinary. My hunch is that for us today that’s exactly when Jesus shows up to be with us as well. Perhaps it is in the face of a long-time friend or in an interruption of a ho-hum task that Jesus appears to us. Further, like the disciples, I bet we don’t always realize at first Jesus is present with us. But, if we are on the lookout, and we expect to be found by the risen Jesus, Jesus will appear to us. Where has Jesus presented himself to us, and in whose face will we recognize our risen Lord?
With Eastertide Blessings,