The first reading reveals the transformation to St. Peter as the resurrection of Christ takes hold of his heart. Casting aside doubt and fear, Peter proclaims the Good News in the face of persecution and trial…reminding us that as disciples we can draw upon the same strength today.
The readings today reveal the power of the resurrection to transform hearts and equip disciples to proclaim the Good News. Like the first Apostles, we have an opportunity every day to draw strength from the Lord for the task at hand.
I continually marvel at the power of the Resurrection of Christ in the lives of the apostles. They are different people! Standing in the light of Easter, touching and speaking to the Risen Lord, they can’t go back – their lives are forever changed and empowered to proclaim Good News. Check this out:
1st Reading – Signs & Wonders performed by the Apostles
Psalm Response – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting!”
2nd Reading – John proclaims the Good News of Christ
Gospel – Jesus appears to his Disciples, and Thomas moves from doubt to belief
Note this: it wasn’t the miracles, healings, or teachings of Jesus that brought about this change. It was the resurrection; all these people who formerly followed Jesus are transformed into a new creation by the experience of the Easter. They are freed from fear and no longer bound by sin. Their lives are shot through with grace, mercy, peace, and joy.
I want this. I want this for every person I meet, for every person I know, and certainly for my own heart. To bask in the light of Christ raised from the dead – to know that God has built a bridge that covers the gap from our weakness to the glory of Heaven – is to live with a power and conviction that brings the Lord’s life to a world in need of Good News.
What needs to be healed in our lives?
How might we proclaim Good News to others?
How might we foster our faith in the Lord…and witness Easter joy?
Our faith is not a history lesson. Christ’s resurrection continues to bring change and renewal to our lives today. May we open our hearts to the Lord and allow Easter glory to shine in our lives.
St. Thomas is known for his doubts about the resurrection of Jesus. However, once he saw the Risen Lord he boldly proclaimed “My God and my Lord!” This very real portrait of Thomas inspires us in the midst of our doubts to draw near to Christ and proclaim the Good News in our daily lives.
The Lord offers a bold job description for disciples: You are the Salt of the earth and the Light of the world! As we draw near to Jesus we also become conduits of his grace, touching the hearts and lives of those around us. May we shine with the Good News of the Gospel!
The season of Easter offers us many opportunities to celebrate and rejoice. After all, the light of the Risen Lord brings hope, courage and strength to all who call upon the name of Jesus. Take a look at a quick overview of these readings:
1st Reading – “Repent…and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.”
Psalm – “Lord, let your face shine on us.”
2nd Reading – Jesus Christ is our Advocate with the Father
Gospel – Jesus appears to the disciples, explains the Scriptures, and teaches them to proclaim repentance in His name
Why all this talk of repentance? First and foremost, because we need it. The Good News of the resurrection of Jesus Christ brings light to the darkness of death and sin. Easter does not downplay the call to turn away from sin; rather, we have renewed hope that in Christ’s victory on the Cross we are empowered to face our weaknesses with God’s grace.
The light of the resurrection shines in our hearts…and sometimes we need to clean out what’s in there. We might not like it, might try to avoid it, but in the end we stand before the Lord and acknowledge that all that we have is sustained by His love.
Here’s my point: this holy season offers us a chance to draw near to Christ – who knows us better than we know ourselves – and receive his mercy for our sins. All that’s required is our acknowledgement for what we’ve done, make a change to live for the Lord and then receive the forgiveness that flows from the Sacred Heart.
Repentance is a lifetime work. There will be days when we follow the Lord with joy and conviction; then again there will be days when we fail miserably. What matters most is that we continue to seek Jesus with all our heart and strive to live our lives in the light of his resurrection.
The Lord commands us to proclaim the Good News through our words and actions as we invite others to encounter God through the Church. This 40 minute presentation is the second part of the Parish Mission given at St. Anthony Abbot Catholic Church on March 12, 2018.