An intense, yet tender exchange takes place between two estranged friends in next Sunday’s gospel.
One has gone in search of the other, who, guilt and grief-ridden, and not knowing what to do, has returned to his former work. The searching one draws him forth to a fire he has set on the beach and over which he is preparing to cook a fish breakfast. A most hospitable setting over which to repair a strained relationship.
You see, the working one had left the searching one for dead. When he heard that he had defied death and was actually alive, walking out of the tomb in which he had been laid, and speaking to people, he fled to the safety of the known.
But his own phantoms pursued him. The accusing fingers continued to jab into his psyche.
“He wanted so much from you.”
“He called you the foundation on which he was going to build all that he was talking about”
“You’re the one who called him Anointed – even the Son of the Living God!”
“Yet you couldn’t even admit you knew him at his time of greatest need.”
And now, here he is, calling him and his companions to breakfast on the beach.
Three piercing and well-placed questions.
Three summons to reclaim and fulfil his true purpose.
Intimacy of friendship restored.