After the terror and desolation of his crucifixion and the totally unexpected joy and wonder of his resurrection, Jesus’ small band of followers seek their way ahead. As their courage and confidence return, Jesus appears to them at various times and places, helping them understand their experiences.

They returned to Galilee and went fishing. There Jesus appears to them as a real flesh and blood person in a simple everyday life situation. They share a meal together.

Jesus challenges Peter, who protests both his love and commitment to him. Jesus points Peter towards his future responsibilities and ultimate martyrdom.

Our own encounters with Jesus can come unexpectedly both at times of crisis and in moments of calm. They may come when we are alone or through conversations with friends, neighbours or complete strangers.

If Jesus is truly present, such encounters will prompt changes in our thinking and daily living. We may also see new opportunities to reach out in service to others both in our churches and in the wider community.

But, as with Peter, Jesus warns that following him may prove costlier than we initially realise.

Philip Eldridge