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Father Nolte: A resurrected faith requires us to live a new life

In our beautiful passage from the Gospel of St. John this Sunday, we hear yet another resurrection account of Jesus appearing to his disciples. This time he appears to them at dawn standing on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias. He stands there as the risen Son shining the light of his merciful love upon the ones he chose to continue his mission of revealing the love of the Father to the world.

Jesus catches his disciples going back to their old way of life, that of fishing. They did not know what else to do because their minds and hearts were still swimming with emotion. So they naturally went back to what they knew best and what would require very little thought, allowing them time to contemplate everything that had happened to them and their Master.

I imagine we have all done the same thing at one time or another. How often have we been challenged by a powerful homily, inspired by spiritual reading or set on fire by a profound retreat, only to find ourselves dried up and back to ‘normal’ just a few days later? It can happen to any of us. We encounter Jesus’ love in a powerful way. Then we come down from the mountaintop and return to ordinary ground. We “go fishing.”

The truth is that it is challenging to live a resurrected faith because a resurrected faith requires us to live life differently than in the past. It moves us outside of our comfort zones. Our lives are no longer ordinary once we encounter the merciful love of our risen Savior. They are not meant to be. The more seriously we take our call, the heavier the weight of the cross will be on our shoulders. The good news is that we are yoked to Christ and he carries it with us. Our love for him and his love for us are all the strength we need.

Father Walter Nolte is pastor of St. Patrick Parish and president of Archbishop Bergan Catholic Schools in Fremont.

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