Sunday, April 10, 2016


By Phil Russell

“He revealed himself in this way…So they cast it [the Net], and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish."  John 21:1, 6B

"They were countless in number, and they cried out in a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing."  Revelation 5:11-14

HE IS RISEN! Sign reads, “GONE FISHIN'!"

In the recent biblical drama film, RISEN, today's Gospel is reenacted near the conclusion of the film.   The protagonist of this story is a fictitious Roman Tribune by the name of Clavius.  Clavius, witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, shortly after in a conversation, with Pontius Pilate, the two exchange which gods each prays to. Pilate tells Clavius that he worships Minerva, the Roman goddess of Wisdom.  He asks Clavius, who it is that he worships.  Clavius response is Mars, the Roman god of War.  Pilate says that it would make sense as Clavius a soldier, a man on his "way up" and destined for greater career goals would in fact be connected to Mars.

Not to long after this scene, Clavius is called in by Pilate to find the missing body of this, Jesus of Nazareth, whose followers are saying has "risen" form the heavily sealed and guarded Tomb.   This is where Clavius' world begins to change.   Several scenes later after heading this investigation to find the missing body, and interrogating several of Jesus' followers, he is stymied.   We see Clavius at a niche/shrine where he places several gold coins before the image of Mars. Clavius, begins to pray, "but not to you Mars, I pray to the God of Israel: "if you are real...?"

This is where the story really gets good.  As he is trying to find the closest followers of Jesus, he in fact does.  They are in an upper room in Jerusalem. As he alone enters the room, he is struck when he sees the face of Jesus, sitting with his disciples.  His mind flashes back to the face of Jesus on the cross.  His world begins to unravel.

Fast forward.  Still with me?  Today's Gospel.  Clavius follows the eleven to the Sea of Tiberius, where they go fishing.  There we see today's Gospel acted out.

We, like Clavius, are the observers.

We are the witnesses to this scene.

How do we process what is happening?

Can we just standby, like Clavius, and watch?

Or can we by our own FAITH, place ourselves into the person of Peter? 

Have we encountered the RISEN, JESUS in our own hearts?

We're not our hearts burning as we recognized HIM in the Breaking of The Bread?

Are we still just trying to figure it all out, not unlike Clavius at the onset of the Call to "COME FOLLOW ME?"

Like the Apostles, where are we?  Today on this Third Sunday of Easter?
As the questions goes: "Are YOU in?"

And as the song goes, "Will you come and follow ME if I but call your name?"

Let's GO fishin'!

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