by Rev. Fr. Laby Panackamattom
On the Second Sunday after the resurrection of our Lord, we meditate on the readings from the Gospel of St. John. 21: 1-14. The Bible readings arranged by our Church fathers for each Sunday remind us the importance of the time that we pass through. The reading after the feast of Resurrection reaffirms the physical existence of our Lord not only just to the disciples who had first hand experience, but also to all generations who go through those passages and meditate on them. In the above said passage, it is clear that it was the third time Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection. With His genuine love, care, and patience, He approached the disciples and took care of them. There are many theological insights hidden in this passage from which we will discuss a few.
1. Possibility of turning away from Lord’s expectation.
For about three and a half years, Jesus took with him the twelve disciples, whom He handpicked and entrusted with some responsibilities. Except for the traitor Judaism, all were very much loyal towards Him in their lives. Yet, we can see some shortcomings in their attitude towards their responsibilities. The people who were hand picked and entrusted the responsibility of preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the entire world stepped back when they did not feel the physical presence of the Lord. They were the ones who lived with Jesus, heard from His mouth, and enjoyed the very experience of His resurrection. They turned away from what they were called for, to their previous life of fishing. Through the Lenten time, we have reconciled with God and are going through the joy of Easter. In our path, there is a likelihood of turning back to what we have given up. We should be able to identify those chances and make sure of the presence of our Lord in our lives, just as the disciples did at the seashore. Let us never lose the spiritual yearnings that God has bestowed upon us.
2. Nothing without God.
Jesus said, “You can do nothing without me”. In our day-to-day life, we may feel proud about ourselves many a times. Our achievements, our efforts, etc. may bring a feeling of appreciation about our own life. However, it is an unchangeable fact that we are nothing without the blessings of God and His presence in our life. Not all other achievements will last long. The glory of such achievements will fade faster than they reached us, if God is not with us. The disciples who went for fishing were aware of the place and the waters where they were fishing. They were experts in their old profession and could recognize every moment and the change of the waters. However, all their hard work was in vain that night. They were away from the Lord and the responsibilities that He had entrusted to them. They could not gain anything without Him. It is the reality of life. We become valuable when the Lord is with us, just as any number of zeros becomes valuable only when a number prefixes those zeros.
3. Recognize the Lord behind happiness in life.
We usually try to seek the Lord when we are in distress and in turmoil. We try hard to find Him so as to overcome our situation. Sometimes we even dare to complain that He has forsaken us. How do we react to other circumstances in life? Of course, we offer thanks to our blessings, which we receive at any point of time. However, are we able to find the divine loving touch of our Lord in every occasion? When we are happy in our life, are we able to find the face of our Lord in the background of everything we enjoy. In today’s reading, we see St. John recognizes Jesus at the very moment when their fishing nets were filled. We should be able to look beyond every situation to see the beautiful face of our Lord. We have to build up such a way of life to make sure that we are in His frame and under His Control. The rest He will take care. He will never forsake those who completely depend on Him.
Let the joy and peace of the season wrap us all in the warmth of the presence of our Lord. Let us take up the responsibility that God has entrusted to us, with utmost sincerity.
May God bless us all.
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