Man on the shore breaks through the darkness

By Glen Argan

“I am going fishing,” Peter said, and six other disciples sailed with him out into the dark. The dark. The place where God is absent, where that absence is felt.

The night was long. It always is when we sail, seeking to achieve great things without the Lord’s help. The North Star may help one find their way, yet it is but one pin prick of light in a sea of darkness, one fixed point where everything else is in motion.

So the friends fished, and they caught nothing. To call their empty nets a broken dream is perhaps too much. But it was a failed endeavour.

When the day breaks, Jesus stands on the shore. Unrecognized. How can one see the Son of God when one has chosen to fish in the dark? Jesus, this unknown stranger in a land where each person is known to all the others, urges the group of seven to cast their nets one more time.

They obey God’s word without knowing that it was God who spoke it. The harvest is bountiful – 153 fish, but who’s counting? More important is that the disciple whom Jesus loved recognizes the action of his Lord. “I am the light of the world,” Jesus once said. “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

Without Jesus, these fishermen of the dark could accomplish nothing. With him, their nets are so full, they can hardly be budged. Jesus brings light… and food to tame their hunger. God is good.

Together, the eight sit around a charcoal fire and enjoy an informal breakfast of loaves and fish. Few words are said. This is Eucharist, thanksgiving as God’s bounty overflows.

Where are we? Wandering in the empty darkness, believing we can achieve much on our own? Or, following the Light with our companions, believing a new day is possible with God’s astounding providence?

Readings for the Third Sunday of Easter, May 5, 2019
Acts 5.28-32, 40-41 | Psalm 30 |Revelation 5.11-14 | John 21.1-19

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