Sunday, May 1, 2022
By: David May, Rector
When my sons were little, we used to go on walks in our neighborhood that took us beside an old, abandoned rock quarry that over the years had filled with water and become a little lake. Mostly, the surface of the water sparkled in the sunshine; if you looked, it was like a mirror reflecting the sky and clouds above and our faces when we peered over the edge. But as you went along the path, we’d pass beneath great oaks whose branches hung over the water and shaded the surface. We always stopped in those places because something magical happened. We’d get down on our haunches and stare into the water. But instead of just seeing our faces reflected on the surface, you could suddenly see, really see what was there through the clear water. All the way to the bottom. At one of our favorite spots, my sons would scream and point, ‘a fish! look! do you see it? a fish!’
The life we live even now in the resurrection of Jesus is something like that. It’s what we just prayed for in the Collect of the Day: give us eyes of faith to see Jesus in all his redeeming work. All the resurrection stories point towards that and have that quality – of not being able to see what is right in front of your eyes (usually Jesus!) and then suddenly seeing what is there, him, and what he is doing for us. Like Mary Magdalene when Jesus calls her by name, and she can see him. Or Thomas when Jesus shows him his wounded body, and he sees him. Like the disciples in Emmaus when Jesus takes bread and blesses and breaks it and they suddenly see that it is Jesus. Or today when Jesus calls out from the beach, ‘cast your nets on the other side’ and the water boils with thrashing fish as they pull the net to the surface where all night there had been nothing.
In fact, if we get down on our haunches and stare into this sacred story of resurrection, so much comes into view – our whole life with Jesus, all of life really, all the way down to the bottom. Take a look.
After the utterly mind-blowing, totally incomprehensible, life-changing, world-changing, creation-changing experiences of the first Easter morning, after seeing all the way to the depths of God’s very life, I just love what Peter decides he’s going to do. He says, ‘I’m going fishing’. And the others say, ‘we’ll go with you’. What else do you do when everything you thought was settled gets turned inside out and outside in? I think there are lots of ways that we too decide, ‘I’m going fishing’. I need a moment. I need to just stand on solid ground and get my bearings.
And so they do. And catch nothing all night long. Oh well. That’s what fishermen do too.