Reflecting on John 21: 1-19
Do you have a place in your life where you and Jesus rendezvous? Is there a chair in your house, or a park in your neighborhood, or a conversation with a friend, where Jesus always shows up? It’s interesting that Peter, after the horrors of his denial of Jesus, and the mysteries of that Easter empty tomb, didn’t know what to do next but to go fishing. I think he just longed for Jesus so much that he set out to find him where he himself was found. We know from the other gospels that it was while Peter was fishing that Jesus first called him.
Vocation, says St. Francis de Sales, is nothing more than just doing what you were doing when God found entry into your heart. Were you, at some point in your life, supple and open to God’s voice? Whatever you were doing then, keep doing that. That’s vocation.
Peter, burdened with guilt yet filled with hope, set out that day in his boat. I don’t think he was looking for fish. He was looking for Jesus. And oh, how he, exhausted from the night’s fruitless work, leapt into the water to meet him when the Beloved Disciple cried, “It’s the Lord!” And he found Jesus right there, near the charcoal fire, a fire that perhaps reminded him of that other charcoal fire, the one in Caiaphas’ courtyard, where he had denied him just days before.
No matter. He had the grace to go fishing, and Jesus fished him right out of the water. He was released from the nets of guilt and shame that strangled him, and set free to be the slave of Christ.
Where do you go to meet Jesus?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).