It is the Lord: Finding the Lord on the Horizon
Deacon Keith Fournier
© Third Millennium, LLC
“So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. When it was already dawn, Jesus was standing on the shore; but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, have you caught anything to eat?" They answered him, "No." So he said to them, "Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something." So they cast it, and were not able to pull it in because of the number of fish. So the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord." When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he tucked in his garment, for he was lightly clad, and jumped into the sea.” St. John 21:1-7
“Your daily encounter with Christ takes place right where you work, where your aspirations and your affections are. There we must seek sanctity, in the midst of the most material things of the earth, serving God and all humankind. Heaven and earth seem to merge, my daughters and sons, on the horizon. But where they really meet is in your heart, when you strive for holiness in your everyday lives”.
St. Escriva (Passionately Loving the World, Oct. 8, 1967)
The beloved disciple John was a fisherman, so were his brother James and his father Zebedee. It was while the two brothers were fishing that they heard the call to follow Jesus Christ (St. Mark 1:19-20). John left both his nets and his father to respond. There, in the midst of his daily work, John found the Lord, and, in responding to his specific vocation, he found himself.
Throughout his life he remembered that scene as the beginning of a new life. There, in the ordinariness of his daily life he encountered God Incarnate. He accompanied the Lord throughout his earthly ministry. He was there at the last supper, where he rested his head on the Masters’ breast, this disciple “whom Jesus loved”. He was there on that great day of sacrifice when the Master stretched out His arms to embrace all of humanity in redemptive love and began the new creation at the second tree. There, where heaven touched earth on the horizon of hope, where Infinite love transformed an instrument of torture into an altar of redemption. Most of the others had fled by then, overcome with fear and racked with doubt, but not John. (St. John 13: 23; 19:26)
He was there, standing under the shadow of the cross on that dark and mournful Friday afternoon, right before the Lord breathed His last holy breath, in worship. There, on Golgotha’s hill, Jesus saw John and entrusted to his beloved disciple the special gift of His own mother. From that day forward the beloved disciple took her to his own home. (St. John 19: 26-27) In that great act of entrustment the gift of the motherhood of Mary was given to all the sons and daughters of the new family who were birthed from the wounded side of Jesus on that Cross. Inspired by her example and assisted by her maternal care we now carry forward the redemptive mission until His return.
Once that stone burst forth - and all that was promised had been accomplished - Jesus went looking for John. He found him fishing once again, engaged in the ordinary tasks of his daily life. But now, both he and those daily tasks were different. He lived his daily life in the presence of God at all times. Remember, it was John who recognized Jesus, crying out “It is the Lord.” Yes, it was Peter who responded with his characteristic exuberance and set out toward the Lord on the water, but it was John who recognized him on the shore. He knew that voice well by now. It was the voice of the One through which the entire universe was created, and re-created. It was the voice of the God who makes all things –and all men and women- new.
So it can be with each of us. Like John, we are invited into the great adventure of faith which still makes the ordinary extraordinary. We can find the Lord, hear His voice and recognize him on the horizon. We can cultivate a relationship with Jesus, the One who opens our eyes, unstops our ears and expands our heart through His presence. We can make his cry our own, proclaiming to the sons and daughters of this age, “It is the Lord.” Like the beloved disciple we can point our families, our co-workers and all whom we encounter in the stuff of our own daily lives to the One who still walks the earth gathering his own and transforming them by His embrace.
Heaven and earth have merged on the horizon of our hearts. It is there where we find the Lord.
Third Millennium, LLC
http://www.catholic.org VA, US
Deacon Keith Fournier - Deacon, 757 546-9580
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