Bulletin: April 18, 2020
Third Sunday of Easter
Peter saw Jesus after the Resurrection. He listened as Jesus told the disciples all that had been written about him in the scriptures, all that he had said and done when he was ministering among them. Peter heard how Jesus had fulfilled all in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms. Jesus, the Messiah, had come to be among them to bring them peace, to offer forgiveness of their sins. Peter shared this Good News with the crowds who gathered to hear him tell the sacred story, the story of God’s love, poured out in Jesus the Christ and offered to the whole world. All who hear and believe are offered new life, life in which God’s love is perfected in them. Are you listening? Are you ready to share in this abundant new life?
NOT WHAT WAS EXPECTED
Have you ever waited for something for so long you began to think it might never happen? Your graduation day, or the day of your marriage, or the birth of a child, perhaps. The Israelites had waited for centuries for the coming of the Messiah. Yet when Jesus, the long-awaited Anointed One came, many failed to believe in him. He wasn’t what they expected. The Messiah was supposed to be a strong, powerful commander of armies, not humble, compassionate, and suffering. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the disciples and explained all that he had said in his time with them, opening their minds to what had been written in the scriptures so that they could accept his suffering and death and rejoice in his resurrection.
GOD’S LOVE IN FLESH AND BONE
While the disciples had come to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, his crucifixion and death had left them fearful and confounded. The news of the empty tomb and his appearance to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus added to their confusion. It seems that at first, Jesus’ presence with them did not alleviate their uncertainty. In fact, they were “startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost” (Luke 24:37). Jesus saw that they needed physical proof that it was he who stood among them. They needed to see the nail marks in his hands and feet, to see God’s love in flesh and bone, in one who ate among them. Only when their fear and confusion had been quelled could they hear the story, the sacred story of how the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead. Only when they were filled with the peace of Christ would they be ready to witness, to share the sacred story with others. We, too, are invited to hear the sacred story and to perceive God’s love for us in Jesus Christ.