For lunch today, I had my eye on a delicious fish from the Sea of Galilee.
And it had its eye on me.
They told me it was tilapia…but it didn’t look much like the fillets I’m accustomed to back in the States.
The biggest issue: Where exactly does one dig in?
Are the deep-fried fins fair game?
And really: I’m not supposed to eat the head…am I?
All’s well that ends well, I suppose. After a little wrangling with knife and fork, I threw caution (and propriety) to the wind…and began to rip the perch apart with my fingers.
That did the trick. Before long, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the culinary adventure — imagining that Peter, James & John likely consumed their catches in much the same way back in Jesus’ day.
“When in Tiberias…”
A few bites in, however, I was scanning the table for a salt shaker — hoping to give the fish a bit more zing.
Alas, it turned into a futile search…
…At least until we got back to our room, and I settled in with today’s scripture passages.
There in the gospel reading, I learned about the strategy that perhaps Jesus would have counseled:
“Keep salt in yourselves, and you will have peace...” (Mark 9:50)
That’s the cool thing about the Holy Land: you can almost hear his sacred voice, echoing off the hillsides.
“You are the salt of the earth,” Jesus says to all.
And sometimes, I’m learning, it just may help to try something new…in order to truly savor the confidence he expressed in each of us, to become fishers of men.
Let us remember that we are in the presence of the Holy and Merciful One.