It is the Lord!
Readings: 1st: Acts 4:1-12; Ps: 117; Gos Jn 21: 1-14
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On this fifth octave of Easter, Christ continues to appear to his disciples. In today’s apparition from the gospel according John something spectacular happened.
This should not surprise any of us, because, as we have already seen, the disciples of Christ are still struggling the reality of their situation. Some of them have lost the hope they had in their “Messiah” after seeing him crucified by the Jews.
So, what was left for them? Nothing, but to go back to their former profession in order to rebuild their lives since their vision and hope has been shattered. Of course, they acted as most of us would have acted in the same situation.
In today’s apparition episode, the most surprising thing is this. It was Peter, the leader and the chief of the Apostles that encouraged the others to abandon their mission as “fishers of men”, to return to their former profession of catching fish.
Of course, even though they were professional fishermen, they labored in vain the whole night. This is because, that was no longer their place. They had already made a solemn vow to be fishers of men (Mt 4:19).
So, this apparition has some lessons for all of us. First, it was a reminder that they were in the wrong place, and have abandoned their mission. Second, it was a reminder of Christ’s word that, “separated from me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:15). Third, it was to prove to them that, truly, he has risen. He proved this to them, both through the quantity of fish they caught, and through the celebration of the Eucharist.
Let us ask Christ to keep us faithful to his mission in spite of all the challenges and difficulties associated with it. Finally, let us pray for all who due to difficulties and persecutions, are about to abandon God’s mission. That they may find a new hope and the strength to continue. Alleluia, Alleluia!
Peace be with you all!