Daily Reflection
April 28th, 2000
Michael Lee, S.J.
Theology Department
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Friday of Easter Week 
Acts 4:1-12
Psalms 118:1-2, 4, 22-27
John 21:1-14

“Simon Peter said, ‘I am going fishing.’
They replied, ‘We will go with you.’
They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.”

“Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to them, ‘Children you have no fish, have you?’
They answered him, ‘No.’
He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat and you will find some.’” 

John 21:3-6a

Jesus finds Simon Peter and the others engaged in the familiar tasks of earning a living.  Even after their encounters with the resurrected Jesus, they simply returned to work on the Sea of Galilee as fishermen.  Had anything really changed for them?   After praying with a local parish community this past Easter weekend, how have each of us been transformed by that encounter with Jesus whom God had raised from the dead?  Has anything really changed for each of us or for the parish community as a whole?  Like the Simon Peter and the Twelve, we, too, have gone back to work after our encounter with the Risen Jesus last weekend.  We, too, have again cast our nets into the sea of the work-a-day world. 

But, what happens next in this passage from the Gospel of John?

As Jesus had instructed them, Simon Peter and companions cast their nets to the right side of the boat, and they finally catch a bunch of fish.  Suddenly, memories of their previous encounters with Jesus spring to mind.  Jesus, now raised from the dead, continues to reveal himself to them in love – even after his death and burial!  The resurrected Jesus’ loving presence burns in their hearts.  Simon Peter’s memories sizzle again with such vitality that he leaps into the sea in order to reach Jesus more quickly than those in the boat.  Simon Peter leaps for Jesus and for his offer of ever-present love that Peter has tasted before and in this passage sizzles in his memory.

We, too, share a part in Simon Peter’s leap from boat into the sea and the resurrected Jesus’ encounter with him and some of the Twelve along the shore of the Sea of Galilee.  We, too, can participate in that original, seaside encounter between Jesus and some of the Twelve because it is part of our collective memory as Christians.  For both the disciples and for us, the resurrection sizzle comes in allowing such memories to play in our imaginations.  Memories of receiving God’s love through Word and sacrament; memories of passing part of the day with those who are dear to us; and memories of laughing with a friend are what can remind us the taste of resurrection joy offered by Jesus.  As a church, our refreshed, collective memory of Jesus’ resurrection can allow us to return to our day-to-day work while keeping our eyes open and ears sharp for God’s presence in ordinary life.  Like Simon Peter and companions, our joy burns with the alive and vibrant memory of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.  Our burning memories of God’s love prepare us to find God in all things.  The sizzle of our holy memories longs for resurrection joy amid a work-a-day world.

Will you be on the look out for finding God in all things this day?

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