A third visit with his disciples after the days of torture and death and the day of his Resurrection yet the disciples did not recognize him. Him? Yes, their friend, your friend, my friend. Even when he suggested throwing their fishing net to the opposite side of their boat, they did not recognize him. But when they quickly found themselves burden with a filled net that had 153 large fish, their minds began to recall. Peter, again the leader, realized who it was standing on the shoreline. "It is the Lord!"
We can understand Peter's not recognizing Jesus. His face and body must not have had the appearance the disciples last remembered of Jesus. No longer was his face, his body shredded humanity. This was the risen Lord. How perfect his countenance and his body must have been: this was the risen Lord. So moved was Peter that he tucked in his outer garment and jumped into the water to get to his friend. His heart beating faster than when he helped pull in the catch of fish. His eyes must have been as wide as possible. Imagine his arms outstretched. He could hardly wait to stand in the presence of the risen Jesus, his friend ... the same friend he had denied knowing when Jesus was beginning his passion. That failing moment did not hinder his desire to be with Jesus again.
We may not feel as fortunate as Peter and the others were on this occasion. How many are the times that Jesus offers us the graces to come to him, to talk with him and yet we fail to recognize Jesus on the shoreline in our lives. Our friend Jesus may not appear before us in his risen state of divinity. However, we are gifted so often with God's presence, God's graces but do not recognize Jesus in the moment. He does come to us in so many instances because he has promised to walk with us when we need him. All of us have our Emmaus moments, don't we? In our resurrection moments, those times when we are able to rise up from moments of failing to live up to our baptismal promises, we are challenged to recognize the presence of God.
Tomorrow we celebrate a gift of God given to us by one of his emissaries, Blessed John Paul II: Divine Mercy Sunday. Let us pray today for the gift of wisdom, already given to us in abundance when we were confirmed with the powers of the Holy Spirit for the good of our lives, especially the spiritual goodness of who we are as children of God.
"Lord, today as I recall my seaside moments similar to the event in your disciples lives, let us be gifted again with the awareness the you are present to us in so many ways we fail to see. Send your Holy Spirit upon me again and again so that I may know Jesus in those who come to me for help as well as those who try to help me be a better person. Give to me and those who are special to me an abundance of wisdom to know when you are using others and different events to teach me to recognize that "It is I, your friend, Jesus."