Gospel Reflections

3rd Sunday of Easter

Luke 24:35-48

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Edithann Kane

Published: April 15, 2018


Utter amazement, even fear and confusion rise among the apostles, hidden away in the upper room. Jesus suddenly shows up there! They can see and hear him, they can touch him, they can watch him eat. He says he is not a ghost. But what is he, who is he. And he’s telling them what to do next. “Don’t stay here. I tried to tell you while I was with you; I’m telling you again.  Everything happened as it was supposed to happen. You followed me then, continue to follow me. I’ll be with you. But only if you leave here, go into Jerusalem and then to all the nations and tell them about me. You are witnesses.”

They witnessed the Risen Christ. Rev. George Smigna, writing in “Living with Christ” suggests we consider what punctuation we might use in the face of the proclamation that Jesus is risen. Is it a finished thought worthy only of a period. Jesus is Risen. That’s nice but life goes on. No big change in my life.

Is it a question mark – Jesus is risen? Certainly it started that way for the apostles who were skeptical of the women, puzzled by what the Emmaus walkers had to say, and at first seeing only a ghost when Jesus appeared. But at least a question mark gets us thinking. What does it mean – literally – that Jesus rose from the dead. Is it literal; is it metaphorical; did his body really rise; or was it his memory that was alive in those who loved him. And does that really matter. A question mark at least engages us.

Smigna suggests that real disciples put a comma at the end of the statement. Jesus is Risen, and so…. What does it mean for my life? Our lives?

These days there are so many reasons to immerse ourselves in the Easter mystery, both to guide our own actions as witnesses and to find courage before the many forces of evil that seem to surround us. The evil of violence, hatred, disregard for truth and for human rights, corruption in so many places. And then there are the questions about ourselves, our future, the future of the congregation in the west.

And Jesus is Risen, therein lies our hope, a hope that is living and gives witness to the possibility of another kind of reality we don’t yet see but believe is possible… because Jesus is Risen! And we are the witnesses!

 

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