You will find him in Galilee

By Father Chris Thomas

As a university chaplain, I was invited to dinner with a group of students. They were all people of good will, working around the city in their spare time in the hope of making a difference. They volunteered in soup kitchens, night shelters and hospices. They worked with people who had learning difficulties and physical difficulties. They were involved in children's play schemes and worked in local schools and as prison visitors. There were some people of faith, and others motivated simply by a love of humanity.

They were an extraordinary group and I felt very humbled by all they did. We ate together and when the meal was finished, there was a time of silence at the end of which each person in the room began to share their experience. It did not take very long for me to realise that what I was witnessing was the life of the risen Christ within these good people. They were telling the story of the risen Christ in the ordinariness of their lives.

In Matthew and Mark's Gospels, the first witnesses to the Resurrection are told they will meet Jesus in Galilee, which represents the ordinariness of life. The Disciples and the women had met Him before in their daily lives in Galilee. The promise is that they will meet Him again in their daily lives and we discover that they do. They meet Him in their fear when locked in an upper room. They meet Him in their need for power to proclaim the Good news. They meet Him in the strength they discover within themselves. They find Him in their daily experiences. They discover that He is alive and with them.

It is in the ordinariness of life that we will meet Him. It is in the dreaming of dreams and the despairing of pain. It is in the million and one good acts that happen almost unnoticed. It is in the listening ear and the outstretched hand. It is in the kitchens and the bedrooms and the sitting rooms that we inhabit that we will find this risen Lord who is still at work today in the hearts and minds of those who are willing to look for Him.