4-7-16 - Bring Some of Your Catch

Are there sweeter words in the New Testament than these, “Come and have breakfast?” The disciples’ encounter with the risen Christ kept getting better and better. First, they made an enormous catch of fish. Then, they realized Jesus himself was on the shore. And when they landed, they found another delightful surprise:

When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”

What an invitation after a sleepless, fish-less night. What a reversal of circumstances in just a short time. Why did Jesus wait until morning to help them out? Why does God allow us to endure waiting or suffering or not knowing? Could it be that it strengthens or softens us, or makes us readier to receive the gift when it comes? A mystery for another time.

What matters now is that the fish have swarmed, the nets have filled, the Lord has come, and these hot and hungry fisherman are invited to a feast, right there on the beach. And they're not only passive guests – they are invited to help make the feast. Perhaps the most important words in this passage are “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” God provided the catch, and allowed them to participate in gathering it, and then asked them to bring some to Jesus for the celebration. Jesus provided the bread; they were invited to offer some of the fish.

So it is in our lives – God provides the feast, and allows us to participate in gathering it, and then to bring some of it together for the celebration. We could look at our weekly offering in that light, and our gathering at the eucharistic feast (of which the offering is the first part). We can look at our whole life in that light – a life of participation in God’s mission in which the Spirit leads us to the fields, and allows us to be a part of gathering the harvest, and then to bring some of that harvest together to celebrate.

What are the “big catches,” or areas of abundance in your life? And where do you feel Jesus inviting you to breakfast? And what might you bring to that feast?

We don’t see every day as a “mighty catch of fish.” But what if it is? Might we say, by faith, “Yes! The fish have swarmed, my nets have filled, the Lord is right here, and I am invited to a feast, right here.” Then we might have to look around, all around, and ask, “Okay, where are the filled nets?” I wouldn’t be surprised if each of us could name at least one area of life where our nets are filled. That’s a good start.

And then, “Where do I bring my fish? Where is the feast Jesus is inviting me to contribute to today?” 

We can trust that he has brought the Bread of Life, his own self. He invites us to bring some of our fish.

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