Fr Terry writes:
Do you remember two of the other major events that took place on the shores of the Sea of Galilee?
One turning-point occurred when Jesus called Peter, James and John. ‘Come with me and I will make you fishers of men.’ Now, three years later, they have been literally fishing, and have found their nets are full to bursting-point, a sign of the great harvest of souls that lies ahead.
Another turning-point by that sea came when Jesus asked the disciples, ‘Who do you say I am?’ It was Simon Peter who said ‘You are the Christ.’ The dawning realisation that this was the Messiah would lead these humble fisherman forward into a life they could never have dreamed of, with their message being brought to the furthest corners of the world.
Now, three years later, they are once more on the shores of Galilee. In each of the first two occasions they had to make a leap of faith and trust a deep, powerful intuition. Once more they have to make that leap of faith. Surely the Lord could not have overcome death, and left behind the tomb? And yet, deep within them, they truly know that this is Jesus, who called them to join him three years ago on the same shore. None of them need to ask.
So there was silence, mostly, at that campfire by Galilee, as the dawn broke through the mist and the fish sizzled gently on the fire. Companionable silence. Can’t you imagine yourself there? No words necessary. Indeed, what words could possibly have fitted the moment? How could Jesus himself explain what had happened, explain the resurrection, explain once more the purposes of God the Father, explain the future with the Church being born out of that small group of disciples. When we list those things we know that they must have had questions in their minds, lots of questions. Yet we know that it would have been impossible to give answers. It would have taken all day and even then, could they possibly have understood? No, no talking. Instead, just the quiet reassurance of being there with the Lord. Nothing was said, yet everything necessary was communicated. Christ was risen. The love of God for the world was still secure. And, as the straining fishing nets indicated, there would be a task ahead, and there would be fruitfulness beyond their wildest dreams. All this lay ahead. For now, there is just the warm of the fire, and the warmth in their hearts as they share the silence with the Lord they love. The message for us is, I think, that it is enough sometimes to be there in silence with Christ. We don’t always have to be talking. It is not always necessary to have explanations. Just being there, knowing the silent, accepting presence of the Lord, is enough to strengthen us and prepare us.