This Sunday’s gospel reading contains a mouth-watering offer: Jesus says, “Come and have breakfast”. I am sure that for many, a cooked breakfast of a Sunday morning is an regular and enjoyable family activity. In this gospel reading, a cooked breakfast is a wonderful surprised for the disciples, especially given who is doing the cooking. There are twin tensions in this Resurrection account: one is the extraordinary nature of this encounter with Risen Christ and, on the other hand, its utter ordinariness.
The story begins with another seemingly ordinary statement as Peter says, “I’m going fishing”. There is more to this statement than meets the eye because this is what they have been called away from at the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. It is almost as if Peter is saying, “I really don’t understand what is happening — we followed Jesus, we saw him die and now he is alive in some new way. I’ve had enough — I’m going back to what I understand. I’m going fishing!”
Fishing provides no escape for Peter and his companions. Their fishing trip is initially fruitless, and so is their attempt to leave behind the mind-boggling experiences of encountering the Resurrected Christ. He comes to them again, just in time for breakfast. In John’s gospel narrative, the extraordinary seamlessly blends with the ordinary, and this setting becomes the opportunity for the Risen Jesus to have a reconciling chat with Peter, after Peter’s denial.
For us, Easter is more than a day, or even a whole season. Easter is our whole life. Easter blends the extraordinary with the ordinary, and we need to be open to the unexpected presence of God, even when we are involved in the most ordinary things. Peter goes through many emotions in this gospel passage: bewilderment, frustration, surprise, delight, anger, humility and acceptance. We go through many emotions in day, let alone in a week, or a year, or a lifetime. The joy of the Resurrection is the extraordinary discovery that God is alive among us even in our most ordinary moments. Fr. Anthony