Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. (John 21:10-14)
Something is comforting about Jesus being God. It means he is strong, wise, and in control. Yet, there is just as much comfort in the humanity of Jesus. He understands us; he isn’t distant. Instead, he is near. In this story, Jesus draws from his genuine human relationship with the disciples. He knows them. Jesus knows their stories, and he knows how to connect with them. In light of that, he makes breakfast. It’s such an everyday activity, so familiar, so disarming. These disciples had shared countless meals with Jesus over the years, and when he invited them to do it again, the light bulb went on.
The image of his hands breaking bread, and the sound of his voice blessing the food, must have been a bit of glorious Deja Vu. It is with this beach breakfast that Jesus decided to re-invite them to the story. Aren’t you glad that he knows you just as well? This is the kind of God we follow, patient, familiar, yet completely different from others.
Where might Jesus be inviting you into the story of his world? What is the beach breakfast that he is offering to you? You may wish he would show up with flashes of lightning and a booming voice, but he may decide to be more covert than that. Are you paying attention to his invitation to breakfast? One way to heighten your awareness of Jesus’ presence in your everyday life is to set aside time to pray a Prayer of Examen at the end of your day.
How to Pray the Examen
1. Place yourself in God’s presence. Give thanks for God’s great love for you.
2. Pray for the grace to understand how God is acting in your life.
3. Review your day — recall specific moments and your feelings at the time.
4. Reflect on what you did, said, or thought in those instances. Were you drawing closer to God, or further away?
5. Look toward tomorrow — think of how you might collaborate more effectively with God’s plan. Be specific, and conclude with the “Our Father.”