Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Gone fishin'

The house was lucky enough this past Sunday to welcome Fr Gerard Bradley, Spiritual Director of Wonersh, to give a day of recollection. As the season of Easter moves on, and the impact of Easter day itself begins to fade a little in our minds, it is the perfect time to consider that all the work we put in during Lent should be reaped about now.

Fr Gerard used the Gospel of day, which is the story from John 21, including that beautiful dialogue between the risen Jesus and Simon Peter..."do you love me?"

The world of the apostles has fallen apart, and they are racked by the memory of their denials of Christ, especially Peter, who says that he's going fishing.

The fishermen are experts; they fish in the night when the fish are near the surface (they are in the shallows, like the faith of those who fish them). But fishing in the dark, they cannot see anything.

The day dawns; the sun is just up:

The sun is risen.

The Son is risen! Alleluia!

He is out of the depths of sin and death: this is the day!

Wake up! Alleluia!

Jesus is the person with the fullness of light.

Our faith is the light of the risen Christ which dawns inside, allowing us to see as the Father sees. The fishermen do as he says, and they succeed. Jesus is no fisherman. Yet the expert fishermen accept what he has to say, accepting his orders which are beyond their natural talents and abilities, beyond the security of their capacity. They have failed, but now they succeed: the Christian life is based on disaster and failure, for though these we grow.

Christ is doing the fishing here.

They cast their nets on the right side of the boat, like he says. They use their right side, their right hand.

They will bless with their right hand

They will forgive with their right hand.

They will anoint with their right hand.

Those in the household of grace are woken by grace. Many Christians have not woken up yet, and their faith seems undeveloped, like they are looking at this scene through the keyhole.

But Christ is the door.

He is the daystar! Alleluia!

Jesus' deepest desire is to be fruitful in the world... through you.

So cast your nets, in the ways he is asking you to.

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