Third Sunday of Easter - Year B - 19th April 2015

We are Easter People

If your Easter joy is beginning to sag a bit, just check out today's readings. The scene is Solomon's Portico just after Peter has cured the lame man. As the man leaps for joy, a very large crowd gathers. Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, declares that it is God who has worked this miracle, and that what they have seen is another proof that the man, Jesus, whom they crucified, was truly God's Son. We can imagine how those words must have pierced many hearts with terrifying guilt. They were the ones who had cried "Crucify him!" just a short time ago. What were they to do? 

Peter's words reassure them. Since they acted out of ignorance, God offers them salvation if they repent and believe. They must be baptized in his Name, and in the Father and the Holy Spirit. And they must spread the Word. This is the mission of every follower of Jesus! 

The Gospel is even more exciting. This is Luke's account of the commissioning of the apostles. Scene one takes place in the upper room, where the two disciples to whom Jesus appeared on their way to Emmaus have just returned, breathless and bursting with the news that Jesus is alive. Even as they speak, Jesus suddenly appears to the whole assembly, throwing them into consternation and fear. With powerful persuasion, Jesus convinces them that he is not a spirit, but a human person, very much alive. He asks them for something to eat. They give him a piece of baked fish which he eats in their presence! 

Scene two; from the upper room, Jesus leads them out to Bethany where the crowd had acclaimed him as king. According to Luke, Jesus ascends from here and disappears into the heavens. 

The greater news is that Jesus is still with us - in the Eucharist, in the Spirit that dwells within us, and in our loving encounters with one another.

If we allow the worries of this world and our doubts to dominate our thoughts we are not living in the light of the Risen Lord. We are reflecting the attitude of the disciples to whom Jesus said, 'Why are you so agitated? And why are these doubts rising in your hearts?' Jesus is here, supporting and strengthening us, keeping us on the journey that will inevitably lead to fullness of life, if only we are faithful.

With that conviction, may we grow even more as Easter people, and may 'Alleluia' be our song!

Fr. Kevin O'Shea, C.M.