“I am going fishing.”

Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Easter by FAN Director of Advocacy, Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF

This reflection was originally posted in our April 29th newsletter

Looking for a distraction from a deep feeling of let-down, a feeling too hard to bear, and even less to comprehend, Peter, in this week’s readings, is going back to what he knows best, fishing. I have to say that it is a reaction not very different from mine when I need something to distract me or help me deal with what I do not want to face yet, or I need time to come to terms with. I can procrastinate, do something I enjoy doing or that I am very familiar with, so I do not have to think. Peter had a lot on his mind, as did the six disciples who went with him.

However, it did not help and on top of it, fishing was not successful. The Gospel says that Peter and his friends “that night caught nothing.” So their sadness was compounded by disappointment and frustration. It is only when it was already dawn, the text says, that something different, unsettling and unexpected happened. A stranger dares to ask them, from the shore, if they caught anything and, even more daring he tells them to cast the net over the right side of the boat. I can only imagine Peter’s thinking: “Right, who are you to tell as how to fish?!” But they do it, maybe out of the desire to prove this daring stranger wrong or because they had nothing to lose anyway. We know the story…

It is at this moment, when something unforeseeable and really mind boggling happens, that their eyes were opened and they realized that only the Lord could have done such a miracle. The mood completely changes, from desperation to elation, so much so that Peter jumped into the sea…and they were treated to breakfast!

So it is the journey of faith, the Easter journey, our openness to the unexpected, big or small, that gives us the possibility to see with new eyes, what we cannot see if we remain closed in on ourselves, our own disappointments, fears, frustrations, and setbacks.

Following the Risen Jesus is to be open to new possibilities. He asks us to trust that life cannot, will not be the same, once we know that he is still present in our lives and in the lives of those we encounter every day, and so be ready to be challenged by the one we least expect.

Peter was now ready to be challenged about his love for Jesus and this time he passed the test: “Lord you know everything: you know that I love you.”

The Easter Season puts our expectations to the test. Are we ready to allow our life, our heart to be surprised by the novelty of the Easter message? Are we ready or willing to meet or find Jesus even in places we may not wish to go?

The apostles were ready: “We must obey God rather than men… So they left the presence of the Sanhedrin rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.”

Can I say the same when I speak up for justice, for those who seek a better life in our country, for peace and a more merciful and humane world, and hope to be surprised with results? Yes, I want to be surprised and be able to sing: “Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!”

Sr. Maria Orlandini, OSF
FAN Director of Advocacy

Published in: on April 30, 2019 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  

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