Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 4:25 PM
WELCOME BACK! Bishop's updated guidelines: Fully vaccinated need not wear masks; unvaccinated and at-risk encouraged to wear masks. Receive communion in hand, strongly recommended. Dispensation still.
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Homily, 3rd Sunday of Easter

Christ's resurrection is to be lived out. We are part of the Easter story.

Jesus was made known in the breaking of bread. Luke 24:35

3rd Sunday of Easter -- Homily by Msgr. Joseph K. Ntuwa

Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; 1 John 2:1-5; Luke 24:35-48

What really happened? Dear friends, how often do we ask that question? Where do we go to look for reliable answers? Most of us want to find meaning in the experiences of our lives.  We do not want things to be completely random, as if there is no plan or underlying structure to the journey of life.  Just a few examples ---

  • We lose our job and wonder if it is because there is a better fit for us somewhere else
  • We read texts from friends or family members and try to understand the tone, context and intent of the message.
  • We get abandoned by a close friend and try to figure out if there was something we did or didn’t do that caused it or we face a death of someone close to us and wonder why God allowed it to be so.

Yes, we want the experiences we face in this life to mean something. Being part of an event is no guarantee that we will understand it. As T.S Eliot observed: ‘We have had the experiences but missed the meaning.’

In this Sunday’s Gospel we see how the disciples cannot make sense of Jesus’ recent death. Nor can they make sense of what is going on when Jesus appears to them. By itself the appearance of Jesus does not open the disciples’ eyes. It did not do that on the road to Emmaus and neither does it here in today’s episode.  Jesus appeals to the disciples’ sense to touch, so that they see who it is they are touching. And he appeals to their reason; ‘ghosts have no flesh’. But it is only when he tells them what he meant when he was with them and opens their minds to understanding the scriptures that they come to believe in him. By interpreting what has happened the risen Christ draws the disciples out of their confusion. The disciples cannot do that for themselves; by themselves they cannot understand what is going on. Only the risen Christ can take the disciples from mystery into revelation, from confusion to understanding. That is his Easter gift. Our Lord transformed the disciples’ frightened depression into the possibility of hope by opening their minds to understand the Scriptures, not from their perspective, but his. Jesus transformed their understanding, and they began to reinterpret not only their faith but their entire living.

In this new understanding the disciples become witnesses-not just eyewitnesses to what has happened, but witnesses to the meaning of all that has taken place. The understanding of the Church today is based on the unique experience of the first disciples. We will always be indebted to them for their insight and courage. Happily, they did not keep their new experience to themselves but shared it with anyone who had ears to listen. The first disciples turned their new experience into a message of Good News for all people. That is its unique authority.

Every generation must make the message of Jesus its own and pass it on to others.  It is not enough to just accept the fact of the resurrection no matter how essential that may be.  Rather, if we want to truly live out the faith we so readily profess, we must try to discover how our belief in the resurrection of Jesus impacts our individual lives, how it significantly shapes the way we think and act. It is that belief that separates a faith-filled life from mere words. The resurrection of Jesus is not meant to be embraced in an abstract way or simply as an intellectual construct. Rather, it is meant to be reflected in the choices we make and the things we value. It is meant to be lived out.  

And St John reminds us in today’s second reading; ‘Those who say, “I know him,” but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him.’ By sharing the Good news with a life of true witness to Jesus, the Gospel never dies. The story of Easter was not finished with the Ascension of Jesus. We are now part of the Easter story. ###

Stewards are Easter people who live in the light of Christ's resurrection. ICSC

 

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