Friday, April 20, 2007

Third Sunday of Easter – C4

Third Sunday of Easter – C4

Years C
John 21:1-19

The generalities and specifics of life often catch us. This passage contains a partial listing of the disciples present, by name, and then "two others". With the fish it gets very particular, "153", not about 150. Jesus asks a large question of agapao and keeps getting back a response of phileo until Jesus changes to ask about phileo.

While Jesus' comments about Peter's fate is often seen as predictive of a martyr's death, if it is translatable to our lives it may have to be brought out of the realm of hagiography to the simplicity of aging.

Death has us all on a lead that eventually gets reeled in. Just when you get to the wisdom of the ages, death won't wait any longer. Your desire to "fish for people", to "love sheep" (in a good way) has peaked and now you are no more. How like a crucifixion in the middle of ministry. Peter will have a death like all, not greater than all, intended to glorify G*D.

All of these reappearances lead to what might very well be the conclusion of John's book, "follow me" - a very simple instruction with extraordinary implications and consequences. "Follow me" to loving G*D enough to love neighbors and one another and others and enemies and fishing and sheep. "Follow" by doing so faithfully right up to death. "Follow" by doing so hopefully into death. "Follow" by doing so lovingly right through death.

"Follow me" to the named and the unnamed. "Follow" to loving (phileo) others as you now experience love rather than as I ask it (agapao) of you. "Follow me" is the ending that brings a new beginning.

= = = = = = =

standing a hundred yards apart
we try to speak and hear

even over water enhanced sound
we are a hundred yards apart
and more hundreds of years

"hey, you missed your mark, right?"
"what's it to ya?"

even in established relationships
we are a hundred yards apart
and more hundreds of experience

"try another direction"
"got nothin' to lose"

even in predictable worlds
we are a hundred yards apart
and more hundreds of miracles

"what'd ya find?"
"wow!"

even in unpredictable worlds
we are a hundred yards apart
and more hundreds of common threads

"let's eat"
"OK"

"let's love"
"OK"

"let's follow"
"OK"

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