“I’m going fishing.”
Despite our familiarity with tragedy, it is hard to fathom how the disciples must have felt. Their friend and leader from whom they’d been inseparable for the last three years had been executed in the most public and horrendous of ways.
Despite news of his somehow being alive again, the confusion and fear that weighed on their hearts and minds must have been phenomenal. If a tragedy such as this could befall him who had been the most upright, though perplexing of persons, what was in store for them as his followers?
“Let’s go fishing”, suggests Simon Peter – a fisherman by trade, yet no doubt one who enjoyed the pastime. In his grief what he needs is familiarity, and some kind of activity to distract him perhaps.
When we actually sit down and read the Gospels it is often surprising, scandalous even, to find such banal or commonplace statements. We expect, and oftentimes get, elevated spiritual discourse, but just as often it seems, we are treated with mundane details of the ordinary and everyday, leading us at times to ask why such details are included. And yet, it is here, in the mystery of our everyday lives that the resurrected Christ comes to meet us.
We are often waiting for a big event to break upon us and open us up the spiritual realities that we hope exist somewhere out there, and often we find ourselves seeking out such experiences – we go on retreats, or find ourselves engaging in meditation or other ‘spiritual’ practices, hoping to connect with the mystery.
It is the inclusion in the Gospels of these rather mundane events that reminds us that it is right here, in the everyday, that Christ comes to meet us.
For Simon Peter and the others, this was a real, physical experience, but it can be for us as well. God cannot be contained to those spaces where we go to try and seek Him out, but can and will be found wherever we open ourselves to receive his love.