Recognizing the Risen Lord in our world

The meaning and implication of Jesus’s resurrection is often not immediately apparent to us. And it wasn’t to the His disciples either!

After the resurrection, the Apostles returned to the old ways. They went back to Galilee where they felt secure and comfortable. Perhaps they were tired and disappointed. They, like us, had forgotten the words of Jesus “Without me, you can do nothing.”

The Gospel relates how the disciples saw a stranger on the lake’s shore, a shadowy figure in the early morn’s light, who asked if they had caught anything. When they admitted they had not gotten a single fish, he suggested, “Drop your nets on the right side of the boat and you’ll find something.” They did and they were overwhelmed with their catch.

“It is the Lord,” the disciples proclaimed, seeing the hand of God changing their immediate lives.

When they came ashore, they found the stranger-Lord preparing a meal for them of bread and roasted fish.

The core elements of Eucharist are in that meal. They are in the presence of Jesus, the Word of God. They listened to Him and were nourished by Him.

They didn’t ask for an explanation. The Risen Jesus did not appear as he used to look. He seemed so different they hadn’t recognized Him at first, but with faith they were sure it was Him.

In our world, Jesus has many faces: my friend, my enemy, my rich neighbor, my middle class neighbor. He is found and recognized in the poor, the exploited, the handicapped, the weak, the uneducated, the foreigner….Jesus has a Jewish face, a Chinese face, an Indian face, a Filipino face, a Nigerian face, an Arab face, an American face.

Just as the beloved disciple recognized the Lord in the shadowy stranger, we too will have Jesus in our lives pointed out to us. It is our responsibility, too, to help others recognize the presence of Jesus, the Lord, at work in our daily experience. If we do, we will make that presence a felt reality, a genuine experience for those around us. We go forth announcing the Good News!