In this week's gospel story we are told that a group of the disciples, including Peter, Thomas, and Nathaniel, decided to go fishing some time after Jesus' resurrection. They fished all afternoon and all night and by daybreak of the next morning they had no fish to show for their efforts. Though the story doesn't say, we can imagine that they were feeling discouraged and probably wondering why the fish were so scarce. Then, in the early morning light, they saw a figure standing about a hundred yards away on the beach, and this unknown stranger shouted to them, "Try fishing on the other side!" After catching nothing for almost a full day we can be sure that the disciples would have tried anything to catch some fish, so they threw their nets over the side of the boat, almost certainly not expecting it to work. And yet, when they pulled the nets back in they were barely able to hoist them aboard the boat for all of the fish packed into the net. Until this moment the disciples don't know who called out to them from the shore, but when the net was overflowing with fish after hours of scarcity, they knew exactly who it was, and one of them yelled out, "It is the Lord."
It's interesting to not in this story that it's not Jesus' physical appearance that the disciples recognize, or his voice, or the way he gives them direction. Instead they recognize him by the fact that their interaction with him leads to an abundance where there was once scarcity. They recognize Jesus in the person on the shore because they experience abundance when they experience him. This week, pay attention to the people in your life that help you feel abundance. What interactions led to abundance of one kind or another this week? Who helps you feel abundance where there was once scarcity? Take some time to share your thoughts with the group.