by Bro. Jesus Madrid
“The night, the light, and the flight” a reflection from the 21st chapter of the Gospel of John.
“That night they caught nothing.” We all have experiences of darkness and emptiness. One night that is really dark and truly emptying was the night when my parents decided to separate. It was the summer of 2010, I will not forget that summer because it was the same summer before I entered the seminary. I was asking God then, “Why are you letting this happen? Where are you? Lord! Here I am. I would like to offer myself to you but why let this happen?” It was dark and painful. I had my doubts. I don’t know where to go and I don’t know what to do. I cannot see God in that moment.
“Cast the net over the right side of the boat and you will find something.” From the vast water of darkness, of not knowing where to go and not knowing what to do there is an invitation to cast your net on the right side. What can I find on that side? A great catch. From the side of darkness towards the side of love where hope and new beginnings can be found. I believe during that summer God spoke through many people and the loudest I believe is through my uncle. He told me, “I know that you have doubts. I know that you are down.
However, I know that you still believe in Him. I know that in your heart He whispers. Listen to His words. And if in your heart you still believe in His call and you want to pursue, we will support you in every way.” Had I not listen to His voice, I would not be here happy and filled and continuously being filled with that great catch of love. My eyes were opened, I know that it was the Lord. He has always been there guiding and directing my life. He gave me hope and I decided to begin anew. Eventually I realized that following the Lord does not mean a life free of difficulties. I tell you, this life is full of difficulties but with Him I have found peace in the midst of great difficulties.
“Come, have breakfast.” God was there in my brokenness. He found me, fixed me, and lifted me up. He invited me to come and eat with Him. This invitation I believe is an invitation to continuously savor the love that has been found and experienced. This is an invitation to grow deeper into this life of love. This moment is a moment of preparation for a greater invitation, a greater call, a higher flight.
“Do you love me?” God has filled me with much love. Now he is asking me, “Do you love me?” How can I not love this God who has given me everything. How can I not love Him who has helped me see the light in my darkest moment? How can I not love Him who has fixed the broken parts of me? Who made me who I am and continuously helping me become the best version of me? Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you. He then says, “Feed my lamb. Tend my sheep. Feed my sheep.”
I believe this is now the mission, to feed His people with the same love that I have received, to be an instrument so that people may be directed towards the light and the source of all Love, Jesus.