Daily Reflection for Friday, April 17, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Acts 4:1-12
Responsorial: Psalm 118:1-2, 4, 22-27
Gospel: John 21:1-14
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
“Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” John 21:6
I have no firsthand knowledge of life at sea, but I imagine I’d have the same disdain for someone shouting fishing advice from the shore that I do for backseat drivers and armchair quarterbacks. When the disciples returned to work after Jesus’s death, they spent all night at sea without catching anything. At dawn, a man they didn’t recognize told them they would find something on the other side of the boat.
This seems like a silly suggestion, but the expert fishermen tried it and caught so many fish that they couldn’t pull the net into the boat. It was then that one of the disciples recognized that the stranger on the shore was the risen Christ.
What Jesus requires of his followers is often small and simple: touch the hem of His garment, believe and you will be healed, throw the net to the other side. I often resist these small efforts because I doubt, I’m afraid, I’m not ready to handle the change that might occur, or I don’t want to admit the way I’m doing things might not be the best way.
Long before travel restrictions began, one of our children was struggling. We sought counseling and made changes at home, but things are still tenuous. Screen time rules are pretty loose while we’re stuck at home, but one day last week he repeatedly ignored me while staring at his phone. I was out of patience; he was out of chances. I ordered him to give me the phone. He refused, so I grabbed at it. Things escalated and began to spiral out-of-control. In a desperate voice, he cried, “I don’t want you to take it from me! Let me give it to you!!”
This frustrated me in the way I imagine “Cast the net to the other side” would have. What is the difference?! I already tried the “other side” and he refused—my net came up empty. Like the disciples, I was tired, running out of options, and figured I didn’t have much to lose. To my surprise, he gently set the phone on the counter and completed the chores.
Throwing the net to the other side of the boat doesn’t guarantee a huge catch every time, but sometimes when we feel defeated and overwhelmed, Christ reveals a tiny change that helps us get by until the next long-night struggle comes along.
The world is “on pause,” and we face overwhelming personal and global concerns. Look to Christ to guide you toward a small thing that will make your troubles easier to bear. Perhaps you will encounter a catch so large that your net cannot contain it.
May God’s Peace Be With You,