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 has ascended to heaven, but his Spirit is free to be with others. It should not be thought that this Spirit is merely a common sentiment which people share when reminiscing about times past. Rather his Spirit -- the Holy Spirit -- is a dynamic force that transforms people inwardly so that they might fulfill Christ’s mission. Today’s gospel dramatically describes this process.
Have the disciples really returned to their fishing profession? It would be extraordinary after receiving the commission of the Lord in his previous appearances to them. But perhaps fishing is being used as a metaphor to describe missionary activity. In the image employed by the other gospels they have become “fishers of men.” It is laborious work which can yield nothing unless blessed by the Lord. Under his tutelage, as seen in today's reading, its results are bountiful. The crew is then pictured as meeting 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.