Our Sunday Gospel gives us much food for thought this week. Now, just imagine we're at the Sea of Tiberias. Simon Peter and a bunch of his fishing buddies are out on the lake trying to put their lives back together after witnessing the simultaneously awful and awesome events of Holy Week. They fish all night and catch nothing, an experience that leaves them feeling fried, funky and frustrated.
And then, all of a sudden a stranger appears on the beach at dawn — that time of morning when shapes cannot take on color or features for lack of light. He calls out that they should “Cast the net to the right side of the boat.” As if that will make any difference.
But no one has any better ideas and as the sun rises, time for fishing will be over anyway. So they cast to the right, and the rest, as they say, is history. Their net is so full of fish that they can’t haul it all in. The apostle John now shouts that the stranger is the Lord. Simon does a double take, and he, too, sees that it is Jesus.
His first instinct is to jump overboard then and there, but he has both the rare presence of mind to realize that he has been working through the night clad only in his shorts, and a sense of modesty to care about it, and so he grabs an “outer garment” and lashes it about his waist and then does a duck dive into the sea and swims to shore — leaving John and the others to get the fish in the boat and the boat to shore.