It is in the aftermath when we will truly witness the beauty and undeniably, the ugliness of the Resurrection of our Lord. Yes, you read it right, the ugliness of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I would rather write a story that speak of what does the resurrection looks like in the face of our society, the individuals who seem to forgot the rationale behind the Risen Lord.
It is a magestic and festive celebration for devout catholics to celebrate the Easter Sunday when the Lord is Risen from the dead. It is highlighted in the rites of salubong that happened every dawn of Easter Sunday. The rites symbolizes the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is in this point where Jesus revealed Himself to Mary, his Mother that He is risen as written to the scriptures. And does, His countless appearances in the midst of the apostles, the disciples that marks His oneness in God, Almighty.
The Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the Center of All Mysteries when we speak of our faith. So does it is being celebrated for a period of atleast three months. There is a beauty in the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The first, the formation that happened again and again. Every year, it is an opportunity to reform ourselves and ponder on the mystery of His resurrection. The formation that applies to our daily lives- with our family, relatives, friends, colleagues and even with strangers. The Risen Lord means the Risen Hope- it’s like New Year’s Resolution. If we fail to reform or to kept our personal promises the first time, then the Risen Lord as the Risen Hope is our “second” chance to do that promises (formation). But being second does not means that we take it as second chance literally. When we speak of opportunity, it is the time granted by our Lord to do the right thing not just as the first attempt or the second, it is granted by the Lord as long as He wants us to reform or to make changes in ourselves.
Now, how come does the aftermath of the Resurrection comes with ugliness?
Have we experienced the same story of Simon Peter and the rest of the disciples that went fishing and caught nothing? John 1:1-19 speaks of Jesus’ third appearance to His disciples (the post- resurrection event). It was in the evening were Simon Peter went fishing together with other disciples. They casts their nets and waited to catch some fishes but ended up nothing. So they heard a voice from the shore, telling them to casts their nets on the right side of the boat. And they caught many fishes that they have to converged at the right side of the boat to pull the nets loaded with fishes. And one apostle notices that the man at the shore is the Risen Lord, Dominus Est!
As soon as they docked the boat at the shore, Jesus prepared a charcoal with fire burning, and a meal for breakfast. And ask His apostles to gather and eat breakfast with Him. During their gathering, Jesus ask Peter three times: Do you love me? then Peter replied Yes. Then follow me as Jesus said to Simon Peter.
The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is mixed with unpleasantness, unalluring effect by those who merely say that I am tired of it, I am used to it, I am DONE with it. Let me tell you my story.
I got hired by a new company and yes I am happy about it. The compensation is quite good than my previous work, my post is still the same as my previous one and the weekends off is one of many privileges (aside from free meals) that attracts me more. But, at the beginning of my job, the very first day, I taught that my decent post will speak of what does it means. My first day was quite uncomfortable for me: Wearing white polo shirt, black pants and splasher and a net hat, I was in a store immersion. There was a prevailing pride that I don’t want to do this work anymore. I told to myself this is not the way it should be. Preparing meals for e customers, taking orders and cleaning the table were not (I believe) my job and never meant to be part of my training. There is a disgustiness in my part, I don’t really like this kind of immersion. Days has passed, I questioned Jesus Christ, is this your will? is this the way you want me to be? Days and weeks had passed and the Good Lord is telling me something that is very revealing.
Like in the scene where Simon Peter and the rest of other Apostles that went fishing and caught empty handed, there is a likeness with my case. These apostles including Peter were professional fishermen, they knew various methods to caught fishes but how come they ended up nothing? Like in my case, As I have written earlier, my post were the same as the previous one, I can say that I am professional in this specialization, however, I was caught in the corner of the same fate of the apostles and Peter. I came to this point of my job having nothing. This was a very different thing, unlike the previous one and I, must have the tenacity to learn and understand everything. Lord is speaking to me, I must come to Him, and trust Him all the way. Sometimes, being professional is being insufficient- those who deny something are those who caught nothing in the end. In life, we have many denials, rejections and disadmissions that would entail self- pride, selfishness and most of the time, ‘self-image’.
The second ugliness of the post-resurrection in our time is that when we do not appreciate the gift of the opportunity given by the Risen Lord. As I have mentioned earlier, the Risen Lord is the Risen Hope- it is a gift that brings another lifetime chances. Aside from my pride, the disappointment I got is that working with the staff. I have this attitude that since I do not belong to this situation, I must not lower down myself to their level. However, there is a point in my immersion that I truly felt Jesus through the person I am working with. I was tasked to check the personal hygiene of store crew that day and so I checked their hair, their uniforms and their nails. Upon checking their nails, there is one crew that leaved a remarkable lesson to me not because his hands were dirty (actually his hands were clean) but there is something that is not normal with his hands. Yes, he has this condition that seem unusual to the normal people. His mouth is small, his face, his eyes and upon looking to his hands, it is small- short finger lengths, and his gap in between fingers were too close to each other.
At that time, I realized that Jesus is telling me another startling revelation- He is with me. The moment I saw the hands of that man, I came across to the hand of Jesus Christ, like the wounds of His crucifixion, the shortness of the man’s hands signifies the wounds inflicted at Jesus Christ. Deep in my heart, I almost cried. Jesus tells me, I am fortunate and blessed with normal hands and normal posture. It is God’s gift that no one should decline to accept. That man reminds me of the gift of the resurrection. This job, is another opportunity to do what is right and to show care and mercy to the people around us. He is a humble man and I admire him that despite his incompleteness, he is able to share his passion, his skills to serve others.
And the third point, when Jesus prepared breakfast and a charcoal with fire burning, He asked His apostles to bring the fishes they caught. I remember the days, weeks and months that I have ceaselessly prayed to our Lord to grant my petition to have a job after holy week. At first, the answer is fogged with doubts and worries and the affirmation is too slow and very long since I already praying for it second month of the year. I came up to the point that I want to surrender, that He will not grant my petition. I cried infront of my mother, telling her that I am hopeless.
But the Risen Lord does not disappoint us. When we feel that everything we prayed and we worked hard seems futile, Jesus Christ will come in our midst and will reveal Himself and will say, trust me. Come the second week of Easter, the day of Annunciation. It was in this Solemnity That I also received a very good news. That I will start at my new work the following day. Like Mary who also received a very good news, that day, it was also my annunciation. The ceaseless prayers, the profession of faith will bear fruit in the right time at the right place, all we need to do is trust in His own time. Like in the story of Jesus as he prepared a meal to his apostles, I must do in return the favor to our Lord as my catches may ever be acceptable to our Lord for He has given me the meal (new work) and prepares me a charcoal with fire burning (new hope).
Lastly, when Jesus asked Simon Peter three times: “Do you love me?” it is a reckoning moment, a reinstatement for Peter after he denied Jesus three times when Jesus asked him this question. And when Peter said in affirmation, it is called Redemption. Peter redeemed his self to Jesus Christ and Jesus told Him follow Me.
There is an ugliness in every resurrection, it is when the time we go back to our old self, our old habit, our old past time, our old self. But if we counter attack these ugliness, with the formation of oneself, these unpleasantries will turn into the true beauty of the Resurrection. Christ is truly risen in the heart of those who believes in Him.