THEME: JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED!
READINGS: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19/ 1 John 2:1-5 / Luke 24:35-48
3rd Sunday of Easter
The Gospels narrate several events after the resurrection of Jesus Christ with two main interrelated reasons: (a) to affirm that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead indeed; (b) so that we may believe in Him and be saved. To affirm that Jesus has risen from the dead,
- John’s Gospel tells us that Mary Magdalene and her friends saw an empty grave (John 20:1-5);
- If the empty grave was not a sufficient proof of the Lord’s resurrection for Magdalene, the risen Jesus Christ appeared to her (John 20:11-18);
- So beloved there is not only an empty grave, 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;
- And to clear any doubt that they were day-dreaming, the risen Lord appeared to the group of disciples several times: today’s gospel event is an instance of the appearance of the risen Lord (Luke 24:35-48);
- To disciples (e.g. Thomas) who would not rely on the testimony of even ‘senior’ apostles like Peter and John, Jesus would appear (John 20:26-29 and 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).
- Are you still not convinced that it is the Risen Lord? Then be informed that 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 the ‘surgical marks’ prove that I am the very person who went through the surgery of 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 his colleagues (Luke 5:5-11); and after his resurrection, he performed a similar miracle (John 21:1-10). It was, therefore, no wonder that the beloved disciple recognized the Risen Lord immediately, he said: ‘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 a miracle 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, then, do some people have a problem in accepting that he arose, if they do not have a 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