The Mercy the Apostles Proclaimed

Apr 10, 2018

Gospel Reflection, 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B

Acts of the Apostles 3: 13 – 15, 17 - 19; 1 John 2: 1 – 5a; Luke 24: 35 - 48

 

The Mercy the Apostles Proclaimed

           Imagine living 2000 years ago and worshipping in the Jewish Temple and every morning that you pass by, you see a crippled beggar at the gate begging for money because he could not work.  The people had become used to seeing this man there and they strongly associated sickness with punishment for sin. Therefore, they were accustomed to seeing him as a sinner.  Peter and John, however, cured the beggar and he stood up and started jumping around and praising God.  Since the crippled man’s former condition was so strongly associated with sin, they saw forgiveness right before their eyes. The sin that caused the crippled condition was erased and Peter proclaimed this as a sign of God’s forgiveness in our reading from the Acts of the Apostles today.  He proclaimed forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ.

            For our sins to be wiped away means that they are gone and that they no longer exist.  This was the reality that the disciples of Jesus and the women experienced when he began to appear many times before them.  They were anxious and had questions, but Jesus said, “Peace be with you.” 

            At every Eucharist we meet the risen Lord along the road of our lives.  We come to recognize him in the scriptures and in the breaking of the bread.  We are meant to live in this Easter reality as an Easter people like those whose questions were relieved by his risen presence among them. 

            To be an Easter people, we live and speak forgiveness.  Easter believers come to the Sacrament of Reconciliation recognizing their own need for forgiveness and placing their hope squarely in the Divine Healer in order to find it.  In families, they are the parents who take back their prodigal children, or they are the ones who stay in touch with the family member who the rest of the family has cut off.  They are the adult children who forgive the shortcomings of their parents and take care of them in their declining years.  They are the family member who prepares special holiday or birthday meals hoping that a family that shares stories and shares a meal together will enjoy laughter and forgiven one another of the small and large offenses that family members can inflict on each other.

            As we come to his table, we recognize that he offers us the same possibility to get up, to have our sins wiped away, and be messengers of this same Good News.

 

Father Tony