“It is the Lord”, By Miranda Fitzpatrick, Fiat Ventures

Third Sunday of Easter

The third Sunday of Easter … that’s right, you heard that correctly. Maybe you, like I did when I was younger, thought Easter was just one Sunday. But it’s not, Easter is actually 50 days long! That’s right, it’s even longer than Lent is! Our time of joy and celebration, of new life and resurrection, is longer than our time of preparation or Jesus’ season of temptation in the desert. And what a beautiful thing that is!

During the Easter season we read from two books at almost every Mass, one of them is the Acts of the Apostles the other is the Gospel of John.

In the Acts of the Apostles, Luke recounts the (you guessed it) “actions of the apostles.” Here we learn about Peter and Paul evangelizing Jews and Gentiles alike – opening Scripture and teaching of how Jesus is the Messiah who fulfilled the prophesies, how He died and rose from the dead three days later, and how He has conquered death. Peter and Paul and the apostles baptize thousands of people into Catholic Church. But it wasn’t all easy. In the reading today and throughout the books of Acts they are met with opposition. But after Pentecost they are on fire for the Lord! They are witnesses to Christ’s life as Peter says in today’s reading.

In the Gospel of John, we read through different accounts of the appearances of Jesus to His disciples after His Resurrection. In the account today Peter and some of the disciples are fishing through the night, they have caught nothing. It isn’t until Jesus tells them to cast their nets one more time that they fill their nets with almost more fish than they can hold. When they get to the shore, they share breakfast together with Jesus.

In this story, and in many of the appearance stories after Jesus’ Resurrection, the disciples and followers of Jesus do not recognize Jesus immediately. While they see Him and talk with Him, they don’t realize it is Him until it is revealed to them. In today’s Gospel, John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, is the first one to realize who was on the shore. He says to Peter, “It is the Lord.” And how does Peter react once he realizes? He takes the fastest route to be with Him – he takes off his cloak and jumps off the boat to swim to shore! He desires to be close with Christ, to close the space between them.

How often in our own lives do we fail to recognize the Risen Christ? Do you see Jesus in the student you pass in the hallway? In the teacher who challenges you to push yourself? In the friend you sit with at lunch? Do you see Jesus in the sibling who tries your patience? Or the parent who asks you how your day at school was? In the family who took your regular pew at Easter Mass? When we recognize Jesus in others how do we react? Do we wish to grow closer to them?

As you go through this week, be intentional about seeing the Lord in each person you meet. In blessed moments with people that you love, and in moments of trial with people you find hard to love, think to yourself John’s words, “it is the Lord.”

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