Jn 21: 1-19


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When Katie’s car was rammed by a drunk driver she was pinned in the front seat and was in terrible suffering. Her vital signs failing fast, she requested rescuers for prayer. And out of nowhere, a priest approached to pray, anoint and give Katie absolution. The priest soon left without a trace while Katie was successfully brought to the hospital for treatment. People thought the priest was an angel, a total mystery, until one day, he was finally identified.


At times we hear people talk about their experience of having met God or his angel in a time of great need. They don’t mean that God came to them in person but that he has come in some unexplainable way through people, things or events.


Today’s gospel shows the tension felt by the apostles after the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. They did not recognize him at first, and yet they instinctively knew it was he. They wanted to ask him who he was, and yet their hearts assured them “It is the Lord!”


The Easter gospel is not about the “return” of the Lord but about the “appearances” of the Lord. If Jesus returned from the tomb, then he would have just resumed what he previously started. But Jesus rose from death, not to return to earthly life, but to start a new way of being present; he starts his presence in mystery among his people.


That is why we say that Jesus is with us today. We cannot see him with our eyes or touch him with our hands. But we know that he is truly present when we receive the bread, his Body in Communion and when we receive his forgiveness in Confession. He is present when we gather to read or study his Word and when we show love and support for the sick, the poor and the weak among us. He is with us when we pray, whether in church, in the adoration chapel, in the car, or in the privacy of our rooms.


Jesus is truly present but mysteriously in our worship and in our hearts. Jesus did not choose to show himself to the public in Jerusalem. This will not convince his enemies but will just push them to concoct fake news about his death and resurrection. Instead he “appears” to people who have the sensitivity to see him in the simple, the dramatic, the crucial moments of their lives. This week, ask yourself, when was the last time you felt the presence of the Lord; the last time you saw him appear to you mysteriously but truly and powerfully?