Towards the beginning of the Gospel of John, Jesus’ first words addressed to his soon-to-be disciples were “come and you will see.” Now, towards the very end of his time on earth, his invitation to them is “come and have breakfast.” Breakfast: the first meal of the day; breaking fast from the long and empty night; filling the hunger, the emptiness, the void left by the night with sustenance and energy for a new day.
“I am going fishing,” Peter had declared . . . and immediately the other disciples had responded, “we will come with you.” Was this to escape from the pain induced by the death and disappearance of Jesus? Or to distract themselves from the emptiness caused by his absence? Perhaps this was even a desperate attempt to re-live the past, to remember, to re-create the presence of Jesus. After all, wasn’t it whilst fishing when Simon and his brother Andrew first encountered their Lord?
And to these beleaguered disciples striving to put some meaning into their empty lives—and, no less, to us today—Jesus simply says, “come and have breakfast.” At first glance, hardly the most resounding Easter proclamation; and yet, such an apt one. “Come and have breakfast”—which is to say: the night is over, morning has broken, a new and eternal day has begun.
—Fr. Charles Rodrigues, S.J. is Associate Novice Director at the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Alberto Hurtado, St. Paul MN