“Come have breakfast.” These are some of my favorite words of Holy Scripture! I say that in jest, but I truly think these are significant words in Scripture. Here Jesus appears to his disciples, and just like the appearance on the way to Emmaus, the disciples recognize him in the breaking of the bread, as he is feeding them. Jesus’ preferred way to be present to his people is by feeding us in our hunger, and that is truly something to celebrate in these Easter days.
It is always interesting to me that the disciples, who, we are told, were trained fishermen, never catch anything unless they are with Jesus. Go through the Gospels and you will see that this is true. Their nets always come up empty until he gives the command to cast the nets. Then they can hardly bring in the catch because of the sheer number of fish they have caught. Today’s episode finds the disciples dejected, not sure where to go, ready to return to their former life and their former career. They had not yet made sense of the whole Jesus event. Just when they thought things were going well, he is betrayed by one of their own brothers, arrested, killed on a cross. And now he is appearing to them here and there. They have no idea what to do so they do what they always used to do … they go fishing.
And it is Jesus once again who not only gives them the fish, but cooks breakfast for them. They were hungering for wisdom, for some way to make sense of everything they had experienced. And Jesus provides that by breaking bread with them, and helping them to see that it is only in him that their life makes any sense. They’re not going to find it in their former work, they’re not going to find it in their pre-conceived notions about the Messiah. They’re only going to find it by taking up the cross themselves, dying to what has made them feel comfortable, and rising to a freedom that nothing can match. Then, in their relationship with Jesus, they’ll really be able to go fishing and will produce a catch that no net can contain.
We too, are called to go fishing for the Lord in some way, but we’ll never catch anything if we go off on our own. Praise God that he is always willing to go fishing with us!
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!