We can see the wonders that the Lord has made; we can see the Holy Spirit at work. In the first reading (Acts 5: 27-32, 40-41) the Apostles are a transfigured lot, full of courage and enthusiasm. Questioned a second time by the high priest, they give a spirited and gutsy witness about the Risen Lord. Peter, clad with the authority imparted by the Master, proclaims His Death and Resurrection. Equally important, to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, Peter makes known that Jesus Christ is in their midst, in flesh and blood, as the Lord and Saviour of the world.

It is truly heartening to know that Jerusalem was filled with the Apostles’ teaching: today, we are called to do the same around us, in the cities and villages we live in. The Apostles steadfastly brought the Good News to their people, Israel: who could deny the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord? In a bid to disown their part in the brutal killing of Jesus, the authorities sheepishly urged the preachers not to speak in His Name, and they let them go. For their part, the Apostles were ever-ready to ‘suffer dishonour’ – a death like His – for His sake.

What did the Apostles go ahead and preach, they who until yesterday seemed shaky, weak and tired? In one word, they simply gave witness to their faith. What is reported in verses 29-32 is a summary of the apostolic preaching, pointing to its most essential elements, a rough-and-ready reckoner for us. This should be the posture of every committed Christian: to continue in Peter’s footsteps, proclaiming Jesus in good times and in bad; to obey God rather any human authority. Indeed, all of this makes up the life of the Church and what we are called to be and do as Christians!

Not only was the earthly Jerusalem filled with echoes of Jesus’ Holy Name; from the second reading (Rev 5: 11-14) it is clear that there was rejoicing in the New and Eternal Jerusalem as well. St John heard the voice of angels singing, ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing!’ And every creature in heaven and on earth, under the earth and in the sea repeated the praises, saying, ‘Amen!’ Which means that, upon His Resurrection, the whole of creation joyfully veered towards Him who is the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the centre of all creation.

Is Jesus the centre of our lives? Are we geared up to repeat the sounding joy? Given that the imprint of God’s law is in our hearts, as St Paul says, we should be continually praising Him in word and deed. Our hearts should be restless until they rest in Him. Here, I remember what my dear Avó (grandmother) used to say: ‘When we see God face to face one day, it is only Him and none else that we shall contemplate.’ Let’s look forward to that day when we will be at least palely worthy of such a privilege!

Holy privileges come our way as we journey on our earthly pilgrimage. In the Gospel (Jo 21: 1-19), after preparing the disciples, by means of the miraculous catch, which was carried out under Peter’s leadership and in his boat, Jesus indicates that Peter will be the Shepherd of His only flock from the moment Jesus departs and until His Second Coming. Peter would shoulder the responsibility of the first Church; he who was a mere fisherman was called to be a fisher of men.

That Jesus showed up on the beach, unannounced, while some of the disciples were about to going fishing, simply means that an encounter with the Lord can happen anytime, anywhere, anyhow. He met them on the lonely shore in the light of dawn; where will He meet us? Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him; what about us? Do we love Him and Him alone, or is He just one among many? And then, when He says, ‘Follow me,’ will we readily do so? We may not be called to lead, but are we ready to follow? The life of the Church and our own salvation hinges on our response.