Our Need for God
Many times, Jesus proved that he had truly risen from the dead. One time, he revealed himself to his followers on Lake Galilee. Peter and his friends went fishing all night. But they didn't caught anything.
A little after sunrise, Jesus stood along the shore. His followers, however, did not recognize him. "Friends!" Jesus called out, "Did you catch anything to eat?"
"No!" they answered back.
"Throw your net to your right!" Jesus shouted again. "That's where you'll find fish!"
They threw the net into the lake. But, because of the large catch, they weren't strong enough the haul the net in. Then, the follower who loved Jesus said to Peter, "Look! It's the Lord!"
Based on John 21:1-2, 3c-7a
The follower who loved Jesus recognized the Risen Lord.
Why do we need to see God? As people, we always try to reach out, to find new things, to do something different. We go beyond ourselves to find happiness.
God created us with this urge to reach beyond ourselves to find God. He wants us to seek him out. He made us for himself. And he reaches out to us, to show us what he is like, and to make us happy. When we do find God, we find true and complete happiness.
How do we recognize the Lord? God showed himself in stages. First, he showed goodness through creation. Then, he showed his patience in his covenant with Noah after the flood. He chose a people his own through Abraham. He showed his people his will through the Law he gave to Moses on Mt. Sinai. And he drew his people back to himself in the voices of his prophets.
But, in the end, he wanted to show everyone himself. He did that in Jesus. He is the Word of God born into the world. When we see Jesus, who he was and what he did, we see God. In Jesus, we see God alive and working.
God made us to seek him for our happiness. When we see Jesus, we find God. When we recognize the Lord, we are so completely satisfied that nothing else can be added.
From the Apostles
On the day he rose from the dead, Jesus appeared among his followers. "Peace be with you," he said. "When I lived among you, I told you what would happen, so everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms would come true." Then Jesus helped his followers really understand the Bible. "It is written in the Bible that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day," Jesus continued. "The Bible also tells us that a message would be preached everywhere in the Christ's name: 'God will give people a chance to turn their lives around. If they do, God will forgive them.' This message will first be preached in Jerusalem. All of you are witnesses to everything that has happened."
Based on Luke 24:36b, 44-47
How do we know about Jesus?
Jesus sent out men called apostles. Jesus chose Peter to be the leader of the apostles. After Jesus ascended into heaven, Peter and the other apostles visited new places and shared the Good News to strangers. They explained how the Bible talked about Jesus and created new communities of followers. The apostles and other early Christians did this through word of mouth and writing.
In the end, Peter went to Rome and became the first "bishop," or leader of the Christians in the city. After Peter died, the office of bishop passed to another man. Over time, the office passed from bishop to bishop. The line of bishops that carried on sharing the Good News from the time of the apostles until today is called "Apostolic Succession." Our Pope, the bishop of Rome, and the other Catholic bishops in the world are part of the Apostolic Succession.
Today, bishops carry on the job Jesus gave the apostles. They preach the Good News to friend and stranger alike. They teach and care for the Christian community that they lead. The task of sharing the Good News throughout the years is called "Apostolic Tradition." The bishops in the line of Apostolic Succession carry on the Apostolic Tradition that tells us about Jesus.
There are two ways we know about Jesus: the written Bible and Church's Tradition. The Bible tells us about God, his people, and his Son. But, Tradition, the way the Church lives, also tells us about Jesus. The way the Church worships God, what it teaches us about the Lord and the way we should live, the way we believe God. All of these things tell us about Jesus.
The Church teaches us about Jesus through the Bible and Tradition. Tradition and the teaching we find in the New Testament came to us directly from the apostles.
On the day Jesus rose from the dead, two followers were walking to Emmaus, a village about seven miles from Jerusalem. Along the road, they talked to each other about the death of Jesus. As they discussed what happened, Jesus caught up and walked with them. But the two didn't recognize him.
They all walked together. And Jesus told them what the Bible said about him dying and rising from the death.
As the two men came closer to the place they wanted to go, Jesus pretended to walk further. But, they pressed Jesus to change his mind. "Stay with us!" they urged Jesus. "It's almost sunset." So Jesus went inside with them.
When they sat down to dinner, Jesus took some bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to the two men. Now, they could recognize Jesus! Suddenly, he vanished.
Based on Luke 24:13-15, 28-31
When do we recognize Jesus? He see him more clearly at Mass. We hear his words when the Bible is read and explained to us by the priest. We see him when the priest says the words "This is my Body...This is My Blood." We see him when we receive the Body and Blood in Communion.
We were made to see and experience God. And we find God in Jesus.