John’s gospel, after the Passover in Jerusalem and the
momentous happenings of Easter, Peter and some other disciples
went home to Galilee and their fishing boats. On the familiar
waters of the lake they knew so well, they went fishing.
But after a night when they caught no fish, common sense told
them it was time to sail for home. Then, they heard the voice
of Jesus, telling them to throw their nets over the boat’s
right side into the waters. Suddenly, the nets filled with
fish and the catch was so large that the disciples could hardly
bring it ashore. When they reached
land, Jesus had a charcoal fire burning with fish on it and
bread, and he invited them to eat.
Does the story suggest the
surprising riches that Jesus, our Risen Lord, offers us, even
when common sense tells us to expect little or nothing? Certainly,
his gifts surprised his disciples at the end of that fruitless
night. In the mystery of his resurrection, Jesus reveals that
life conquers death. But he also brings new dimensions to
our lives beyond human plans and expectations. The Risen Lord
is a God of surprises. And, as we see in his encounter with
Peter, he is a God of surprising love.
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