Reflection for Sunday – April 10, 2016

Readings: Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41; Revelation 5: 11-14; John 21: 1-19
Preacher: Sister Anne Michelle McGill SSJ

Our Gospel reading today is quite vivid. We can picture Jesus’ friends out on the Lake fishing all night—no luck, not even a nibble. When dawn came however, they noticed a figure on the shore; John recognized him as the Lord. You can imagine how excited they were when they heard that news! This was the third time Jesus revealed Himself to them since he rose from the dead.

Peter impetuously jumped into the water to get to Jesus quicker. When the others landed, they noticed a red hot charcoal fire with fish and bread lying on it. Jesus invited them to share some of their fish so they could feel they had something to contribute to the meal. They were with their Lord and Leader again—and He was providing for their needs. Jesus knew how to get them to the “table of plenty” where they could share their stories and their hopes, and even their fears for the future. The community was together again! They were numb, they were filled with love, hope and excitement.

Yet, when we read on from Acts, we find a dramatic change. These beloved followers of Jesus had to suffer insults, persecution, pain, and degraded taunting —all for their beloved Leader. However they were not intimidated but rejoicing again as they returned to their preaching of the WORD with an even greater zeal.
Why? Because of a love that was an all consuming.

Eastertime reminds us of the great love Jesus has for us. Our Church should be out of the ordinary, extravagant in its care and love. It is time for us to ask ourselves:

• What if we could see through the present age with its wars, pains, sorrows and terror?
• What if we could truly see the Lord’s presence in the world?
• What if we could profess with Peter, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you?”
• What if the Lord said to us, “if you really love me, then love the way I love selflessly and unconditionally?”
• What if those with an abundance of this world’s goods would share with those less fortunate?
• What if we could extend that love to all, even our enemies?
• What if we didn’t blame one another, criticize one another, gossip about one another?
• What if we recognized Christ’s presence in our home, workplace and our community?

What if… all the “what-ifs” became realities? Then we too could be assured that not only will we live happily ever after, but we will live happily here and now in the present time.

“The choices that determine a person’s action are the most powerful capacity a person has of having an effect on the world. That is why the action of human beings is related to the purpose of a person’s mastery of the world: that person imaging God. So, to love all the people making up humankind is to image God, because God loves them.” (Madeleine Delbrel)

Indeed the risen Lord is with us so that all the hard things of life, all its pains and difficulties, can be endured since we know we are not alone.

Easter time —a time for putting into practice what we truly believe: The Lord is risen and is with His people!
May the truth of Easter, the joy of Easter, and the blessings of Easter, be with us this day and all days.

Sr. Anne Michelle McGill, SSJ

Sister Anne Michelle McGill SSJ holds a Masters in Religious Studies and a B.A. in Education and History. She has served as a teacher in grades one through 8 and as principal in two Catholic schools. She has worked as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Rochester.

In addition, she has worked as a parish assistant and a pastoral administrator.
Sr. Anne Michelle McGill, SSJ

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