Reflection on the Gospel of the Friday Within Easter Octave
Jesus has resurrected and appeared to the Apostles/Disciples two times already. In this Gospel scene we find seven of the Apostles in Galilee heading out to fish. What are they doing here, aren’t they supposed to be in Jerusalem? Here we must remember Jesus’ words to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary (Matthew 28:10), “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
According to experts, this chapter was added much later, by an editor of this Gospel. I presume this Gospel Narrative of the Apostles and Fishing follows Matthews narrative of the Gospel. They may have waited for Jesus, and not meeting Him as yet, and probably disheartened and disillusioned, attributing the two Mary’s account as hallucinations, they have decided to return to their old trade. But the uplifting feature here is that the Disciples are together, the fisherman and the non fisherman. They are still discussing Jesus, still holding on to what they were taught and and the Message and instructions passed on to them by the two Mary’s.
For me this narrative is being told on two levels, the condition of the heart of the disciples and also what is really happening in this narrative, both are the same… The Apostles/Disciples are plunging the depths of their hearts in thoughts and discussion about what happened in Jerusalem. They are coming against a brick wall. They are in tears. They are lost.
I know this experience, and many of you also. I suggest you make this Gospel Passage your prayer, ask the Lord to come your way and direct you to the place where to cast your nets, and you will recognise God’s Presence in your life in this moment. You may have already lost heart, decide to go your own way, but we need to acknowledge that we are blind to God’s Presence and activity in our life, he is always there. Be truthful with God express your sorrow and disappointments, you having given up, or even the mess you have driven yourself into. Pray then, knowing who he is – the steadfast lover of your Soul, who has never given up on you. He has not disowned you now. Speak to him then – for he much closer to you then you can think.
That sitting around the fire is another representation of the Eucharist – bringing the Disciples/Apostles back to the Covenant Jesus had established.