Acts 3:13-15, 17-19
Ps 4:2, 4, 7-9
1 John 2:1-5a
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.
The two disciples recounted what had taken place on the way,
and how Jesus was made known to them
in the breaking of bread.
While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.
He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”
Good News Reflection: The redemptive power of Christ
Now that we’re a renewed people — an Easter people — the scriptures at Mass remind us of the stark difference between living a redeemed life and living in sin. The first reading for this Sunday says: “Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away.” The second reading says: “Those who say, ‘I know him’, but do not keep his commandments are liars, and the truth is not in them.”
And the Gospel reading says: “Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name….”
We are all liars in some way every day, professing our faith with our lips but not always in our behaviors. Our actions often say that we don’t truly believe what we say about Christ’s love. Our worries might be saying that we don’t truly believe that God cares about each and every situation.
Our decisions say that we don’t truly believe that Jesus knew what he was talking about when he commanded us to love our enemies and do good to those who hurt us. Our moral relativism says that we don’t truly believe he was smarter than us when he gave us his commandments.
How loudly do your actions preach the truth about Jesus?
Many of us undervalue what Jesus has done for us, thinking that his death and resurrection is enough to get us into heaven; we neglect the need to humble ourselves under the reality of the need for daily redemption.
God’s not expecting perfection from us on this side of heaven’s gate. What he does want, however, is our desire to become more and more like Christ every day. As long as we’re continually examining our lives and educating ourselves about how we can improve, and as long as we follow through by doing what is necessary to produce changes, God is very pleased with us.
Questions for Personal Reflection:
What sinful tendencies still enslave you? What will you do this week to turn these over to Christ and his redemptive power?
Questions for Community Faith Sharing:
What do you do to stay in touch with your need for Christ and his redemptive power? How do you rely on the resurrected life of Christ to overcome sinful tendencies and enter into victorious Christian living?
Thank you for your patience, Jesus! Thank you for kindly explaining things to me a thousand times! Thank you for giving me the strength to get up again and again and again! Amen.
© 2018 by Terry A. Modica