Daily Reflections

Third Sunday of Easter  •  John 21:1-19

Death is a terrible, awesome and final reality which we must all face. We must all bow down before it. One day each of us will be stricken and humbled by the ‘grim reaper’. No one can escape it: neither Queen nor pauper; neither rich nor poor; neither celebrity nor man in the street. Death respects no one; the death of the body is everybody’s destiny. The only hope we have in the face of such terror, such finality and such failure is the risen Lord Jesus. The only antidote to its poison is the risen and glorified Lord Jesus. The only antidote to its sting is the victory of Christ’s resurrection. In today’s Gospel, John gives us not just a glimpse, but a long and considered reflection on our future in Christ.

The Christian faith proclaims that just as Christ died and rose from the dead, so too we who are baptized into this mystery will die and rise again. Christ died, we also will die; Christ rose from the dead, we also will rise from the dead on the last day. Death has been transformed by Jesus. He, the Son of God, suffered death so that we would no longer be under its curse. Despite his anguish as he faced death, he accepted it in an act of complete and free submission to the Father’s will.

The obedience of Jesus has transformed the curse of death into a blessing. Now, because of Jesus death has a positive meaning, as Paul so eloquently and powerfully expresses: ‘For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ (Phil. 1:21). Baptism is the gateway into the new life of the resurrection: in and through baptism we have already died with Christ and so when the end of life arrives and we die in Christ’s grace, we can be assured that death has no power over us. ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’ (1 Cor. 15:55 NIV). We are the people of the resurrection. Hallelujah!

‘It is better for me to die in Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth. Him it is I seek, who died for us. Him it is I desire – who rose for us. I am on the point of giving birth. Let me receive pure light; when I shall have there, then I shall be a man.’ (St Ignatius of Antioch)

Acts 5:27-32, 40-41  •  Psalm 29(30):2, 4-6, 11-13
Revelation 5:11-14  •  John 21:1-19


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