Naked in the presence of Jesus
Jesus alone clothes the naked and fills those who are empty by sharing with them his mission to clothe the naked and fill those who hunger and thirst for justice and mercy.
Peter, who is fishing naked—do those who have fishing as their occupation work naked perhaps?—tucks in his garment and jumps into the sea right after hearing the beloved disciple say, “It is the Lord.” The first among the disciples is determined to be the first to reach the Lord. He now wants nothing of what happened earlier, when the beloved disciple arrived before him to the tomb.
It is not that the first craves to be an eminent prince. The realization that to be first is to be a servant is finally sinking in. He is the one to fetch the fish upon hearing Jesus ask for them. Perhaps his desire to arrive first is due to his wanting now to be the first to confess his uselessness, after being humbled by his three denials.
Indeed, as much as Peter refuses to appear naked before, he really is. His experience as a fisherman is of no use without the intervention of the one who says, “Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” If it were not for the Teacher, there would not be fish for the offering.
No, we cannot do without Jesus. Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are all naked before him. But if we acknowledge it, he will fill us with the love that will cover our sins, because of which we feel ashamed seeing ourselves naked.
Those established in Jesus’ love receives the power to get over every tribulation. They overcome overwhelmingly through him who loves them. The vision of the Lamb that was slain, now worthy to receive all honor and glory, confirms them in love.
Not conformed to the world of greedy leaders who often confuse God’s will with their own interests, those transformed by Christ’s love discern what is God’s will. They obey God rather than men, happy for every opportunity to suffer for the sake of Jesus’ name.
They also know how to recognize Jesus, and their eyes get opened even more when Jesus takes the bread and gives it to them, and in like manner the fish. Admiring their Teacher’s love, his initiative to prepare breakfast and invite them to it, they then commit themselves to love, to feed others and fill the hungry with good things.
We come naked, Lord Jesus, so that you may clothe us (cf. SV.FR XI:343).
April 10, 2016
3rd Sunday of Easter (C)
Acts 5, 27b-32. 40b-41; Rev 5, 11-14; Jn 21, 1-19