There are still four Sundays left in the Easter season.
I grew up, as some of you, having no idea there was an Easter season. Sometimes the drawn out liturgical seasons feel contrived, and out of sync with our ordinary days. Last Sunday’s Easter story was from John 21:1-25, and the seven disciples who had returned to the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee had the late afternoon blahs.
“What would you like to do tonight? Any ideas about dinner? Anything good on TV?” These are only a few of the questions we ask each other in the ordinary time where we spend most of our days and nights.
Peter says, “I think I’ll go fishing.” And the other six are glad someone finally suggested a way to break the boredom: “We’ll go with you.”
“Christ in 10,000 places” wrote the priest/poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, and one of the 10,000 places the next morning, after a night of fishing, was at a spot along the shore in which Jesus and his disciples had spent many times together. When they saw a stranger on the beach, the five disciples with names in the story, and the two who are unnamed, had no idea it was Jesus. They also had no idea that Mystery and Transformation were waiting for them only 100 yards away.
Breakfast was on the table. What’s more ordinary than that?
They found themselves in the company of Jesus, the Risen Christ. They needed a season and a lifetime to learn that he did not belong to them, as they had thought he did. The footsteps of Jesus are all over the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee. The Presence of Jesus, Christ Risen, is in the galaxies, on the shores of faraway places, in refugee camps all over the world, in homes where there is no breakfast or safety, in the hearts of everyone who has even the slightest longing for God.
They required time to take all that in.
So do we.