THEME: JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!
READINGS: Acts 5: 27-32, 40-41/ Rev. 5:11-14/ John 21:1-19
Third Sunday of Easter
The Gospels narrate several events after the resurrection of Jesus Christ with twin reasons: (a) to affirm that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead indeed; (b) so that we may believe in Him and be saved. This is very clear in John’s Gospel, which states that these events have been ‘recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that believing this you may have life through His name’ (Jn. 20:30-31).
To affirm that Jesus has risen from the dead,
- John’s Gospel tells us that Mary Magdalene and her companions saw an empty tomb (Jn. 20:1-5);
- If the empty tomb was not a sufficient proof of the Lord’s resurrection for Mary Magdalene, the risen Jesus Christ would soon appear to her (Jn. 20:11-18);
- So beloved there is not only an empty tomb, Jesus appeared after His resurrection. And He appeared not only to Mary Magdalene (whose testimony some disciples initially doubted), but to the large group of disciples as well (Jn. 20:19-29; 1 Cor. 15:5-8);
- And to clear any doubt that they were day-dreaming, the risen Lord appeared to the group of disciples several times: by the narration of St. John, today’s gospel event is the third time that the risen Jesus was appearing to them (Jn. 21:14);
- For disciples like Thomas and Nathaniel who would not rely on the testimony of even “senior” disciples like Peter, James and John, Jesus would appear personally to them (Jn. 20:26-29; and Jn. 21:1-5);
- To those who thought His appearance was that of a ghost, Jesus said: ‘touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bone as you can see I have’ (Luke 24:39).
- Still not convinced that the Lord who died is the very One who is alive? He ate in their presence (Luke 24:41-43)!
- If like Thomas, one is still not sure of who appeared to the disciples: thinking that probably it was a stranger or an angel of the Lord who visited them, Jesus proved that He who was crucified was the one who is risen, by showing the disciples the crucifixion marks on His hands, feet and side (Luke 24:39) – as if to say that these ‘surgical marks’ prove that I am the very person who went through the surgery for your salvation!
- Still not satisfied? After His resurrection, Jesus performed some of the miracles He had performed before His crucifixion. For instance, in His ministry Jesus performed a miracle of a big catch of fish by Peter and co. (Luke 5:5-11); and after His resurrection, He performed a similar miracle (John 21:1-10 [today’s gospel]); with this miracle, it was no wonder that the beloved disciple recognized the Risen Lord immediately, and exclaimed: ‘IT IS THE LORD’ (John 21:7)!
Furthermore, some stories in the Acts of the Apostles give us an ‘icing on the cake’: because Jesus is risen, miracles could be performed in His name. For instance, Peter and John performed miracles in His name – they told the lame beggar: ‘silver and gold we have none, but in the name of Jesus get up and walk!’ And instantly he was healed (Acts 3:6-8)! Jesus is risen and alive indeed, alleluia!
Beloved, did Jesus not predict that He would be arrested in Jerusalem and that He would suffer? He did. And did it not happen? It did happen. Did He not predict that He would be crucified? He did. And did it not happen? It did happen. And did He not predict His resurrection? He did. Why do some people have problem in accepting that He arose, but they do not have problem with His arrest, suffering and death?
Beloved the truth is: JESUS, OUR LORD, IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA! May our faith in the risen Lord be deepened and may He secure forever our eternal salvation! Amen!
By Very Rev. Fr. John Louis