22ND APRIL 2022
Acts 4:1-12, Ps 118, John 21:1-14
In the Gospel, we see the Apostles going back to where they started, to Galilee, where they continued their work as fishermen. But their lives had been changed by their contact with Jesus, and when they met him by the lake-shore and recognised him, they hauled in the net at his advice, and took his guidance for their future. Many traits of a person’s earlier life contribute now to whatever may be their apostolate. These apostles must now go out as fishers of men.
Peter’s special trait as an impulsive, generous leader, leads Jesus to make him shepherd of the whole church. He may have three times denied Christ in the panic of the Passion, but his heart is loyal, and his personal experience of weakness makes him all the more suited to lead a church of sinners, on the way towards sainthood. Aspects of our own past too which we may tend to dismiss as trivial, can be turned by God into pillars of our future career.
In the same way, just as the disciples returned to their native place (Galilee) and to their old trade (fishing), we ourselves should not forget our own ancestry and heritage. We need not be ashamed of our past, nor feel crippled by any part of it. If we discover the grace of God in our own lives, we can pass on the reassuring message to others, that “the stone rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone.” Ps 118:22.
Some years earlier Jesus had called them away from being fishermen, inviting them to share in his work of drawing people into God’s kingdom. After he had been crucified, there was nothing to do but go back to what they knew best. Seeing no way forward, they returned to their past way of life. But like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus they were re-directed. The risen Lord now stood on the shore of the Lake of Galilee to renew the call they had heard some years earlier.
By his smiling invitation to have breakfast with him, he showed his unbroken friendship towards them, that they had abandoned at the time of his passion. The Lord is always inviting us like that. Even if we have failed in our friendship to him, he invites us to start afresh and cast our nets in a different direction. Our relationship with him is full of hope. Easter is when we recognize him again on the shore of our lives, calling us to follow where he is leading us.