Who Knew? Or encountering God in strange places

I read the readings before mass this morning. I listened to them again. I listened as [Fr.] Bruce reflected on them, and how each represented an encounter with God that made a permanent change in the person who had the encounter.

Isaiah — now he sees the Lord in the temple. That is is a powerful encounter, and a fairly frightening image of an ember touched to his mouth/tongue. But, it occurs in a house of worship, it seems. A place where we might expect to meet God. I found myself singing [in my head] a refrain from my experience in pentacostal circles:

We see the Lord. We see the Lord
And He is high and lifted up and his train fills the temple
He is high and lifted up and his train fills the temple
The angels cry “Holy”
The angels cry “Holy”
The angels cry “Holy is the Lord!”

Enter Paul and his description of how his encounter with Jesus changed and transformed his life in unimaginable ways.

But, the one that almost made my laugh, just because of the almost day to day ordinariness of the situation was Peter and the fishing trip. OK, the scene as I felt it went something like this:

the-miraculous-draught-of-fishes

Peter and his coworkers have been working all night. Yup, at work. Ordinary, regular, making a living, feeding the family work. Along comes Jesus and climbs in the boat. He hitches a ride out from the shore, so he can teach the folks on shore without being overwhelmed. Peter and crew go along with this. Then Jesus says – “Hey Peter, head out to the deep. We need to catch some fish.” At this point I can just hear Peter sighing as he grouses at bit. “Jesus, we’ve been working all night, and we have nothing to show for it. Are you nuts? But, OK. If you say so, I’ll do it.” It wouldn’t surprise me to see this said in a sort of “I’m not really thrilled with this, but if it will make you happy, I’ll give it a shot.”

Whoa! A catch of fish beyond belief. Riches beyond any expectation. A change in vision for Peter. The very idea of becoming a “fisher of men” is born.

Sometimes God catches us in the most mundane, boring, un-fun points in our life. All he asks is that we be open to the occasion.

Photo credit: Image was found on Fr. Dan Borlik, CM’s website

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