Life after Easter
From 2009-2010 I lived as a Passionist Volunteer in Talanga, Honduras. That year of service was undoubtedly transformative and as the Jesuits often say, I was “ruined for life.” Coming back to the States proved to be difficult – I had heard about “reentry shock” - but was unprepared for the sense of disequilibrium and disconnection I felt when I returned home.
Today’s gospel reminds us that Jesus comes to us in the most ordinary, familiar places of our lives. The resurrected Jesus reveals himself to disciples at their place of work – the shores of the Sea of Tiberias where Peter and many other fisherman earned their living. You might imagine what Peter and the other disciples must have been thinking – they had undergone such a transformative experience – going from an ordinary fisherman to a disciple and with Jesus’ death it must have felt like everything was over. So Peter did what any person would do – he went back to living his life the way he always knew how – by fishing.
Today’s gospel reminds us that our transformation, our journey with Jesus, is not meant to simply be an experience – it is meant to be a way of life. Peter’s experience as a disciple did not end with Jesus dying on the cross – rather Jesus calls Peter to cast his net into the sea once again and pull up the overflowing catch of fish – reminding us that God calls us to multiply the transformational love of being a follower of Christ. So often I find myself clinging to the transformational experiences where I have encountered God – volunteering in Honduras, retreats, etc – but today’s gospel reminds me of the hundreds of opportunities I have to find God in my daily life.
So today, let us remember that our journey through Lent and Easter was not simply an experience or a story of a short lived transformation, but rather a call to live out the gospel, a call to meet Jesus on the shores of our daily lives.