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Friday within the Octave of Easter

Reading Acts 4:1-12
Gospel John 21:1-14

He revealed Himself in this way.

What does St. John the Evangelist mean when he reports to us that the disciples “dared” not ask Jesus “Who are you?” After all, the Beloved Disciple had told Peter that this was the Lord. Today’s Gospel passage suggests some unresolved ambiguity. While the miracle of catching 153 fish convinced the disciples who He was, there was still some reason for them to ask His identity. His miracle convinced them, but His appearance did not.

So the Risen Jesus, in His glorified Body, was the same person, yet somehow different. He had the same two natures—human and divine—yet He was somehow different. The Resurrection narratives demonstrate some of the ways in which Jesus was different after His rising from the dead: most famously—as we will hear this coming Sunday—the Risen Lord had a physical body that could pass through solid matter.

The point here is that in His Risen Body, Jesus looks different to His disciples. He looks different enough to cause some confusion in their minds: at least enough confusion for them to be tempted to “dare” ask Him “Who are you?” For ourselves, regarding both our meditation and our speaking to the Lord in prayer, we should ask: do we expect the Lord to appear to us in some certain way? How might God want to surprise us in making Himself known to us, and in showing us His love?