Homilette for Friday, April 17, 2008

Friday in the Octave of Easter

(Acts 4:1-12; John 21:1-14)

Resurrection means, of course, that Christ is no longer dead but alive. His body may have ascended to heaven, but his Spirit remains with us. We should not think of this Spirit as merely a common sentiment like people share when reminiscing about the “the good old days.” Rather his Spirit is a dynamic force that transforms us interiorly so that we might fulfill his mission. Today’s gospel describes the working of Jesus’ Spirit with rich symbols.

Have the disciple’s really returned to their old fishing profession? It would be extraordinary after receiving the commission of the Lord in his previous appearances to them. But perhaps fishing is the metaphor for their preaching. They have become “fishers of men.” It is laborious work which may yield nothing unless blessed by the Lord. Under his tutelage, however, its results are bountiful. The crew actually meets Jesus in the meal to which he invites them. There they hear his words which guide them and consume his food which nourishes them.

The gospel passage suggests Jesus’ presence to us as well as to his immediate disciples. He engages us in our daily occupations. There we too can produce marvelous results on behalf of our families, communities, and society. Attentive to the words he speaks in the gospel and fortified by his body and blood received in the Eucharist, we are prepared to bring his mission of redemption to completion.