We welcome this Easter story each year, cherishing its familiar turns: seeing how it was John who first recognized Jesus on the shore, but it was Peter who forcibly waded himself ashore to be with Jesus. We wonder about how Jesus came by the bread, fish, and charcoal for the breakfast he prepared for his boys. We ask, was there any significance to there being one hundred and fifty-three fish in that net that was near to ripping? We muse over Our Lord’s main requirement of his popes: that they love him.
But sometimes when we come to this story what arouses our imagination is the bright morning itself. It is like that song: “Morning has broken, like the first morning. Blackbird has spoken; like the first bird.” We feel like guarding our eyes from the glare on the stretch of water between the boat and Jesus on the shore.
We are on the first page of Christianity’s history when the eventual bishops are still young fishermen with bronze arms. On this first morning we see our church without all the doubtful decisions it was later to make. We feel a new love for her.