Encouragement for a lifelong journey of faith

April 18, 2020 — Hello to forgiveness

Jesus is risen!  This is the sixth post in a series  examining the teachings and visitations of the resurrected Christ.  Jesus sojourned with his disciples for 40 days before departing to be with the Father.  The daily prayer will be considering passages from Padriag O’Tuama’s book, In the Shelter, to help guide this study.

Today’s Bible reading and excerpts

Read John 21:1-17

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”  Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord.  Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish (vv. 12-13 ).

He[Jesus] said to him a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”  Peter felt hurt because he said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”  Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep” (v 17).

More thoughts for meditation 

Of skinny dipping, lonely nights, charcoal fires, absolution, loads of guilt, breakfast, bucketfuls of projection, and forgiveness    — Padraig O’Tuama

Dove naked into cold water,
near the cove where the clothed man cooked fish.
The water was teeming with one hundred
and fifty-three screaming out
I do not know the man I do not know the man 
I do not know the man whose shackled hands
I’d held the last time I’d seen the sea 
walking towards me on Sophia’s heels
stepping over chaos and creating madman’s dreams.

One hundred and fifty three
and he a carpenter, telling me the fisher:
‘Cast your nets in the light of day’
So I explained the while I am a ragged man,
my sins are rich and meaty,
I would take a beating before I’d heard a carpenter
lay down the rules of eating from the sea.

One hundred and fifty three
and me, I followed
because I knew no other way.
This was the way of glory, 
the only way before me.
My wife she understood, or at least she kept her peace.
Seven score plus thirteen
leaping from the sea to nets so empty they seemed dry

Now I am leaping naked from the deck to the sea
and me, I’m hoping for a bit of absolution
while I perform my oceanic ablutions.
I am naked ploughing depths of wombing waters,
salty with tears and years of 
endless trying

Three times of saying:
no, I do not know him, no, I do not know him, no I do
not know him.
so can I show him anything that is different now?

He said ‘hello’
The carpenter, he said ‘hello’
and I said, ‘Yeah, I know’ pulling clothes around my body, 
covering my hair and skin from showing.

Three times with bread and fish around a charcoal fire
and I was questioned of my love:
-do I love him more than fish?
more than all this? more than miracles? and me? and all
that’s in me?

Jesus, you know everything I said,
and then I wept,
You know damnwell everything,
I drank from miraculous new waters and then
I faltered while the devil sauntered downtown.
I am a pebble in your crown.
Jerusalem’s new clown.

I’ve let you down,
I’ve let you down,
I’ve let you down,
I’ve left me damnwell down 
Jesus, you know everything, I said,
and then I wept

‘Are we beyond all this?
can we move on?’ he said.
‘The miracles, big bravado
ah, your sad old ego vying for acceptance
are we beyond all this?
can we move on? He said.

‘Jesus you know everything
and the weight inside my head,’
I said.

And he said
‘Come now, fisherman, come on
and maybe sing a different tune
and find a room where you can let me stay
and maybe take that oar out of your own eye
and paddle back to where I started with you.
Let’s be beyond all this
and let’s move on,’ he said to me.

Suggestions for action

Jesus calls Peter to action by first offering forgiveness.  With each question, Jesus acknowledges Peter’s failures but brings the focus back to loving him through service.  Today, pray for those who are hungry and food insecure, that our forgiveness would motivate us to intervene. Share a meal, practice resurrection.

1 Comment

  1. Ben White

    I love this

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