Jesus is God-with-us. He stays with us all along the way that we travel. He finds bearable the burden that we turn out to be.
The disciples cannot haul in the net due to the huge number of fish caught in it. But surely, it is a burden that makes the fishermen happy. For at dawn, after they have fished all night long and have caught nothing, their net is at last full of fish.
Such haul is due to the one who has pointed out where to find the fish. And it turns out that it is the Lord who has done it.
The first to recognize him is the disciple whom Jesus loves, whose name is not mentioned. For he stands for the true believer who stays true till the Teacher returns. This disciple is where he should be, at the foot of the cross, for instance. He reads and grasps the signs in the right way, he understands what is going on. Hence, he sees and believes. That is why he is the first of all those who believe, though they see only signs and not the Risen One in person.
This number one model of the disciple of Jesus is with us. And we are like Peter. For we carry the burden of our betrayals. And we cannot forget them; the charcoal fire, too, with fish and bread on it, sends us back to the charcoal fire associated with our denials (Jn 18, 15-18. 25-27).
But the disciple whom Jesus loves is with us to help us bear the burden we carry. He lifts us up and urges us also to put on our clothes and jump into the water to go near the Lord. To follow him till death. Till we stretch out our hands and let another dress us and lead us where we do not want to go.
Jesus’ burden and sorrow
And the true disciple with no name only mirrors God-with-us. No, Jesus cannot bear to see us all alone. For left to ourselves, we toil at night, in the dark, and fail.
He worries about us; we are his burden and sorrow. His passion to better our lot is a burden in his heart. He wants no burden to beset us. His wish is that we walk in his light, at dawn, and take upon us his easy yoke. And that we learn from him, for he is meek and lowly of heart, and find peace.
This means Jesus seeks to give relief to us who are weary and burdened. And as he does to us, so we are to do to others who are weary and burdened like us. They are to be our burden and sorrow too (Abelly III:117).
But of course, one thing is to start to be fishers of men and women (Lk 5, 10-11). And quite another to stay being so, with Jesus, loving him, not just liking him, with a love that he alone can question. Giving to the Lamb who was slain honor and glory as we feed and tend his lambs and sheep.
Lord Jesus, feed us with your body and blood. We will thus have the strength to stay on your path and bear our burden till you come back. Grant that we rejoice when we suffer for the sake of your name.
1 May 2022
Third Sunday of Easter (C)
Acts 5, 27-32, 40b-41; Rev 5, 11-14; Jn 21, 1-19