Thursday, April 8, 2010

Real. Big. Fish.

So I was wondering when Easter would finally 'kick in' for me. We get this whole octave and this whole 'Easter Season' but I've been so busy I haven't had time to let it sink. in.

And I wonder if I haven't had a little bit of this Thomas syndrome that a priest who preached yesterday at a young adult event in DC referred to. The Gospel for this coming Sunday is the one about everyone's favorite doubting apostle- Thomas. Mostly our favorite because we are like him(Father even pointed out that Thomas means 'twin'. Hmmm...our twin?) More than ever as a society we want to see, feel, touch- before we believe. We will believe it when we see it.

Father submitted to us that this Gospel reading happens on the Second Sunday of Easter because Thomas was most likely hanging out by himself in disbelief at the events of Good Friday still up until this point. I myself, I think, got stuck a little in this. We all do. When things freak us out or don't go right we isolate or move inward, rather than seek outside ourselves which is really what we need.

Thomas was probably being kind of emo, contemplating all the crazy things that had just happened to his mentor, leader, friend- His Savior. And now he was hearing talk of what, a ghost? Jesus risen from the dead? Ssssttttop talking... (Ke$ha anyone? No? :)

Well, unlike the proposed Mopey McMoperton (aka Thomas), my Easter Sunday was awesome. I slid into Mass a little late, but as I accounted to one of my dear friends and faithful blog readers, one of the good things about being single is that you can slide in late to things real easy-like. Movies, Church, etc. Only need room for one! If I would've been dragging in a brood of little bodies, our tardy selves would've been relagated to the bleacher seats fo' sho. Not this girl! Front and center in the nick of time! I win!

So Church was good. Post-Church meal at Babci's (my Polish grandmother) was real good. I got some great quotes and pics from Babci up on Twitter this weekend, one of my favs being:

My aunt (watching the Cleveland Cavs game on was a close game): "All they need is a couple good shots!"

Babci, 87 yrs old, without missing a beat: "That's all need too!"

Here's a pic of Babci pouring us our Easter vodka shots:

Afterwards, my cousin and I went for a beer (or two) at a bar on the Lake. It was such a beautiful day:

And we also stopped by the perpetual Easter basket that stands erect in Lorain, well, year round. We're not sure why (note: this pic is clearly not from this weekend, but rather from my sister's wedding last year):

Ah, Northeast Ohio. Who knew you were such an Easter people? Perpetual Easter baskets? Gotta love quirky Midwestern kitsch

So Easter was a beautiful day. And then the business of getting back to the swing of things after a long break happened. And like Father was saying about Thomas and the apostles, rather than retreat (whether we mean to or not) in these vulnerable times, in these joyful times, we need community.

The events of the Paschal Mystery are crazy! And so, too, can be our lives. We may not understand parts, and there is need for time in personal reflection, but I liked Father's point today about also the need for community in these times of paradox, question, and rejoicing.

But even community can't always cure our funks. 99% of the time, it totally does for me. If I start moping, I know one of the first things I need to do is reach out to others or think about others. HOWEVER, also when I start moping, I need to think about Jesus and all He does for us, corny as that sounds. I need to believe He's got some good stuff prepared for me.

Today's Gospel from John was- like the account about Thomas- another revelation of Jesus after His Resurrection to the disciples. This one, though, involves the disciples catching fish. They go out to sea and catch nothing. They see Jesus, but they don't recognize him. He tells them to put their nets back out- after catching nothing all night- and then they get all kinds of fish like its nobody's business. Then they have brunch!

This reading really struck me because I, even in this season of rejoicing, still feel like I'm shooting blanks, tossing the net out only to catch nothing. Is it because I don't recognize Jesus? Am I not listening to where He is telling me to cast the net? Is it not the right time?

Maybe this is one of those times to pray for encouragement. To pray for an opportunity that is so big, it is bursting at the seams. But with great gift, comes great responsibility, right? (Or so it says, I think, in one of the Spiderman movies...) And that kind of freaks me out, if I'm honest. But I have to trust the net will not tear.

It doesn't in John's Gospel account: "Even though there were so many [fish], the net was not torn".

That's, I think, going to be a pretty big prayer for me as we continue through the Easter season. Give me something big, Jesus! And let me trust that You will help me handle it.

After all, Jesus takes care of us! He even slices and dices:

A la chef Jesus: "Come, have breakfast." John 21: 12

(It's a good thing He can cook 'cause I sure can't ;)

Happy Easter!

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