III SUNDAY OF EASTER
acts 5:27-32,40b-41; revelation 5:11-14; john 21:1-19-31
sue bohlin, bible teacher, wife and mother, writes: i was cleaning the grungy bathtub of a family that wouldn’t notice and would never acknowledge or thank me even if they did. i was getting madder by the minute, throwing myself a pity party, when the LORD broke into my thoughts. he quietly said: “i see you. i appreciate what you’re doing.” whoa! that totally changed everything. suddenly, i was able to do a menial job—and later on, more important ones—as a labor of love… it forever changed my view of work.»
what sue experienced while cleaning a bathtub, JESUS’ disciples experienced on the sea of tiberias! they encountered GOD in their workplace (so did moses, gideon, paul…!).
the gospels portray the disciples as very human… they are often bewildered and frustrated, seldom understand JESUS’ ways and do their own thing. and that continues after the resurrection.
JESUS has appeared to them a couple of times. but he’s not with them constantly; he comes and goes, and he hasn’t told them what to do. they don’t know what lies ahead. so they do what they’ve always done and know how to do: they go fishing! they know JESUS is not far from them and will come to them.
and he does! they encounter him in their workplace. with his guidance, they catch a large haul of fish, and he provides breakfast for them… on the beach.
this encounter in the workplace renews them and they can go back to being fishers of men… and missionaries of the gospel (as the first reading attests).
often we find ourselves in the disciples’ position. we aren’t sure what to do. JESUS seems to come and go from our lives, or we from his. it’s then we have to keep doing what we do. we work faithfully and wait patiently… for an encounter with the LORD… who asks us what we have caught, or who sees and appreciates what we are doing!
when i am at the crossroads of life, let me «go fishing»! may i encounter GOD in my work and may this encounter strengthen me for his mission for me.