You Are My Witnesses

April 14, 2024

Each of the four Gospels tells the story of the Resurrection from a slightly different perspective. The Gospel for this Sunday, from Luke’s Gospel, reveals the story of Easter Day. It tells what happened on that first Easter, after the incident that took place after the road to Emmaus. Recall that Jesus had appeared to two of his disciples along the way to Emmaus, which is a village that was about seven miles or so outside of Jerusalem. He revealed himself to them at dinner “in the breaking of the bread,” and then He vanished. They rushed back to Jerusalem.
This is the same night when Jesus appears in the Upper Room and breathes on the Apostles, and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you shall forgive are forgiven them.”
In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus wishes them, “Shalom,” or “Peace.” He challenges their lack of faith, for they thought that He was a ghost. He told them to see the nail marks in His hands and side. He is not a ghost. He is fully enfleshed and embodied. He then ate some fish to demonstrate that He was not a ghost.

After that, He used the Scriptures (the Old Testament) to show them that it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins was to be preached in His name, to all the nations. These words helped them to understand their mission, their purpose as His disciples. St. Matthew states this a bit more clearly in the Great Commission, “Go, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out all that I have commanded you, and know that I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
For 2,000 years, the Church has remained faithful to that mission and has proclaimed forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ. This is still our mission, and it is the mission of every Christian. We do not necessarily stand on street corners and call all passersby to faith in Christ. For most of us, our preaching is expressed by how we live our lives. We are to live our lives in such a way that they would not make sense if God did not exist and if Christ had not risen from the dead.
—Fr. Mike Comer

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