13 Apr 2012

It is the Lord!

We can become so caught up in the minutiae of our daily lives that we can fail to recognise the Presence of the Risen Christ when He comes to meet us. In today's Gospel (Jn 21:1-14) we read that the disciples have returned to their comfort zone - fishing. The disciples were comfortable with fishing, it had been the profession of a number of them before Jesus called them to be His apostles. How easy it is to retreat to our comfort zones after an upheaval... Are there particular crutches, attitudes, behaviours that we fall quickly back into again?

The encounter with the Risen Lord in this Gospel is reminiscent of that in Lk 5:1-10. In Luke's Gospel Jesus encouraged Peter to recognise his littleness, his poverty in spirit by challenging his knowledge of fishing, something Peter knew so well by profession. In that encounter, Peter's eyes are opened and he says to Jesus "Leave me, Lord; I am a sinful man" (Lk 5:8). Jesus responds, not with a rebuke, but with a promise: "Do not be afraid; from now on it is people you will be catching" (Lk 5:10). Peter's calling to be an an apostle, a 'fisher of people', and ultimately the first Pope, was never revoked, even though he had denied Jesus three times. Perhaps in this Gospel, we are reminded that our baptismal calling to be witnesses to Christ is never revoked either, no matter how many times we may have denied Jesus by our thoughts, words and deeds.

How do we meet the Risen Lord? In our every day life. "It is the Lord!" St. John's cry of recognition resounds again and again today when we recognise Christ in the people whom we meet. We witness to His Resurrection and conquering of sin and death by preaching the Gospel through the way we live our lives.

Not all of us are called to be preachers or teachers or priests or religious or parents, but every single person is called to holiness (cf. Lumen Gentium Chapter V). Each person is called to sanctity, "moved by the Spirit of God, and who obey the voice of the Father and worship God the Father in spirit and in truth. These people follow the poor Christ, the humble and cross-bearing Christ in order to be worthy of being sharers in His glory. Every person must walk unhesitatingly according to his own personal gifts and duties in the path of living faith, which arouses hope and works through charity" (LG 41).

One of the first steps is recognising the presence of the Risen Lord in ourselves and in others. In this way, we can truly shout with joy "It is the Lord!" and begin each day anew in striving to be the kind of person God is calling us to be.

'It is the Lord' - Music and sung by Jose Mari Chan. Lyrics by Maria Christina Ansaldo Estrada:

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