Some say that John’s Gospel contains more symbolic scenes than Matthew, Mark or Luke’s. Determining that is a cold wet day activity, by the fire with a glass to concentrate the mind and body. Whatever that invitation, a close look at this Sunday’s Gospel could well occupy a cold day itself!
Consider the role of fire: denial by its warmth a few days ago, now the accompanying warmth and glow; a grand profession of love.
Consider floundering in the sea: professional fishermen, no catch, until Jesus appears.
Consider the invitation to bring some of the fish that they had caught.
We may respond in various ways, for example; What ‘fire’ in my life brings back memories of ‘denial’ and subsequent expression of ‘love’?
Or…how often have I tried to accomplish a task, floundered and forgot to ask for the help of Jesus?
Or…the oft expressed words ‘No presents’; a real party is when we all contribute.
Pondering this Gospel will lead to all sorts of conclusions and, perhaps, some new determination of action. It changed the life of Simon Peter in a great public act of forgiveness and healing. He would remember charcoal fires for the rest of his life. Its heat and light would add spice to his preaching and commitment.
We all flounder at times. Do we call upon the Word made flesh or simply pack our nets away and go out and do the same another day?
Whatever the symbols and all their meanings, this whole post-resurrection episode really emphasises the truth. “Without me you can do nothing.”
Try to deepen your personal relationship with the Resurrected Christ, Jesus of Nazareth this week.