It is the Lord.” (John 21:7)

What a puzzling time this must have been in the disciples’ lives! They’ve followed Jesus on the way to the cross, only to hear reports that he has come alive again. Then he is suddenly in their midst with words of comfort and mission—but then he vanishes as quickly as he appeared. What’s next?

Not surprisingly, some of them go back to their work as fisher­men—something stable. But after a long night, they have caught noth­ing. Then a stranger on the shore calls out, telling them where to cast their nets.

John is the first to put into words the realization that is dawning on all of them: It must be the Lord! His declaration frees Simon Peter—who is not too sure he has been forgiven his terrible betrayal—to jump over­board and hurry to Jesus, where he will receive the assurance he so deeply needs. Imagine how lost Peter might have felt if it weren’t for John’s confident announcement about Jesus!

We are often called to perform for each other the role that John plays in this story. Because we love Jesus, we can recognize him at work. It is often easier to see him working in someone else’s life, and when we do, it is up to us to point it out. A friend may focus only on how exhausted he is, but we can see how the Spirit has been giving him the grace to keep on going. As we declare: “I see the Lord in you,” we are giving strength and encour­agement to our friend.

In the same way, other believ­ers may see Christ in us more clearly than we can. Reluctant to be prideful, we may downplay the goodness other people see in us. But when we do this, we run the risk of denying God’s real work in us. We may end up missing the way Jesus wants to affirm us and encourage us.

So try to hold up a mirror to a friend or loved one today. Help that person see the reflection of Christ in him or her. Be like John today, and announce: “It is the Lord!”

“Jesus, thank you for standing on the shore of my life. Open my eyes to see you, and my heart to share you with others you love.”

Acts 4:1-12 Psalm 118:1-2,4,22-27