After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “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; but 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.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea. But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off. When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.”
So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord.
Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
The initial hours after things like family trips, celebrations and special occasions have always been a struggle for me. I seem to get caught in melancholy’s trap: life feels shockingly dull, ordinary, even scary. I told my mom once that Heaven must be like a giant wedding that never ends, filled with happy reunions, dancing, joy — and no one has to leave.
Those feelings are stirred in me with today’s gospel. We see Peter with the disciples, in the days following the most incredulous years of their lives. How in the world did they go back to everyday life! When Peter says “I am going fishing,” I can feel the heaviness in his heart and imagine his urgency to fight the melancholy by doing something familiar, hoping that it would help.
Then Jesus — the Risen Jesus — appears, and he finds Peter and the disciples precisely where they are, just like he did in the beginning: fishing. Their reaction is curious: they are quiet and obedient, but they don’t realize at first that it’s him.
How do you meet the Risen Christ? Do you recognize him in the ordinary times? Do you struggle coming down from life’s “mountaintop” moments? Do you give him your heavy heart?
—Kristin Dillon is a lay minister who participates in Charis Ministries programs. She lives in Chicago with her husband and six-month-old son.
Lord, during this day, help me to recognize you. Will you whisper to me when I experience love? When I look into eyes that sorrow over loss? When I soar in happiness? When I struggle with discouragement? When the need to control evades me?
Lord, will I hear your invitation to risk and sacrifice for the good? I will listen, Lord, and with your grace I will recognize you.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team