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Fishing, Eucharist

As today’s Gospel begins it seems all is over and the disciples are ready to go back to their “day jobs” as Peter says, “I am going fishing.”  Of course, it is not over as Jesus instructs them first how to fish, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something” and reminds them of their call to be fishers of women and men, to bring people to Jesus.  The disciples come to recognize Jesus in this “Eucharistic” on the shore of the sea.

Jesus opens the minds of His first disciples to understand the Scripture and to recognize Him through the breaking of the bread.  Through our baptism we are also disciples of Jesus and He also opens our minds and guides our interpretation of the Bible as we hear in the Eucharistic Prayer:

Blessed indeed is your Son, present in our midst when we are gathered by his love, and when, as once for the disciples, so now for us, he opens the Scriptures and breaks the bread. (Eucharistic Prayers for Various Needs IV)

There are different ways that we come to Jesus but in Luke chapter 24 the evangelist brings out that the preeminent way that we come to recognize Jesus is through the Eucharist, through the Word of God and the breaking of the bread:

Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way, and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread. (Luke 24:32, 35)

The Gospel guides us and challenges us to interpret the Scripture through the words and actions of Jesus.  We can’t pick and choose the texts that we like or ones that support our will or position.  Jesus is the one who picks and chooses which Scripture texts should guide us:

You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”  But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.  When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. (Matthew 5:38-39)

Both Jesus’ words and actions, His humility, service, and sacrifice, show us the Will of God and thus the true meaning of the Scripture.  Like the first disciples we can come to know and experience Jesus through our “day job”, but also like these first disciples we are called to go out and fish for women and men, to help them to come to Jesus and experience the love and mercy of God.

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