The best marketing is word of mouth. Convinced customers are the best sales people. The readings this week tell us that, “We are witnesses of these things.” But these witnesses also “... left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.”
Why would someone rejoice to suffer dishonor? St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that change is painful and only worthwhile when the good thing to be obtained outweighs the pain of suffering that is the price of change. Suffering is only worth it if we arrive at something better. The psalm tells us, “You changed my mourning into dancing, . . . I will praise You, Lord, for you have rescued me.”
Being set free, and being given hope, is the fruit of the Resurrection. The new life that Jesus gives us, and what that means, is what we ponder for the Easter Season. That is why the Easter Season is longer than the Lenten season. We join the entire universe in contemplation of what God has done to restore and transform us.
“Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out: ‘To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.’”
Shouldn’t this be easy? We are excited because we have won, shouldn’t it be smooth sailing after this?
We see from Peter that it is mysterious, this transformation that happens when we follow Christ.
The Lord calls the fishermen when they are similar to us. They’ve heard about the Resurrection, and word is getting out, but they are perhaps not convinced. We spend these seven weeks of Easter pondering what we have heard before. Yes, we have heard that some people claim that Jesus is risen, but is it really true?
So we go back to what we know and love, unsure if we should continue on the path of following Christ. As the Apostles did, maybe we go fishing again. We know the familiar and enjoyable routine of life; we know how to fish.
Gently, Jesus knows to look for us in the familiar environment we return to.
“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.’ This was now the third time Jesus was revealed to his disciples after being raised from the dead.”
Jesus loves us and searches for us after He has risen. He won’t leave us in our old ways of living. He keeps looking for ways to speak to us and call us to Himself.
Peter who has followed, abandoned, and returned to Jesus shows us how to dialogue with the Lord. In his conversation with God, St. Peter shows us what he learned from Jesus: loving Jesus means serving others in our life, showing mercy, and following the shepherd who we can trust.
Yes this discipleship will cost us, but like Peter, we know that we can trust Him. Surrendering to God isn’t easy, but He will continue to gently seek us out in our lives, and seek to begin a conversation of transforming love.
May we be witnesses who share this Good News and help others be changed by Hope.
In Our Lady's Immaculate Heart,
Rev. Bjorn C. Lundberg,