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If Jesus Christ appeared to us today, would we believe it?

May 26, 2014

Friends, I have noticed that I have fallen woefully behind in posting my reflections, largely due to the illusion of being out of time, but truthfully from being a bit tuckered out. Please forgive! And enjoy my reflections, including today’s in honor of the fallen on Memorial Day. I.X. – Papa

Friday, April 25, 2014: Friday within the Octave of Easter

Acts 4:1-12. There is no salvation through anyone else.
John 21:1-14. Jesus came over and took the bread and gave it to them, and in like manner the fish.

Gospel Reflection:

Christ is risen!  R. He is risen indeed!

If Jesus Christ appeared to us today, would we believe it?  If the Messiah spoke to us today, would we believe it?  Would we recognize him?  Or would we be just like the rest of the world around us?  Disbelieving, and demanding proof.  Today, Peter concedes – and I almost imagine with a shrug – saying, ‘I’m going fishing,’ meaning, ‘Nothing is happening; I’m going back to the way it was – business as usual.’  And we, too, when we are challenged, will fall back and go with what we know – what we are comfortable with.  Business as usual.  Or is it?

Look at the difference between the disciples in the first reading and the Gospel reading.  Look at Peter!

It is not a tale.  And it’s not business as usual.  We know, it is the Word of God, divinely inspired, written, and presented in the words of men. But more than that, it is about faith. The candidates – my wife included – professed this past Vigil, “I believe and profess ALL that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”  If this was easy to believe, if this was about a great guy, with a gift for speaking like an Old Testament prophet, who performed some healing miracles by the Grace of God, but then died a horrible death, we would be saying, ‘Oh, wasn’t Jesus a great guy… too bad what happened though.’  But NO.  It is a hard-to-believe account about Jesus, a poor carpenter, who happens to be the only Son of God, cruelly and relentlessly put to death, but anastas! Resurrection – having risen from the dead, for the salvation of all.  It is so fantastic, so hard to believe, that to remain a faithful telling year after year for near 2,000 years later – it has to be true.

early Christians called themselves simply “the living

This week, I was reading Jesus of Nazareth. Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection again from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.  “Because I live, you will live also”, says Jesus to his disciples at the Last Supper (Jn 14:19), and he thereby reveals once again that a distinguishing feature of the disciple of Jesus is the fact that he “lives”: beyond the mere fact of existing [underscored by me for emphasis!], he had found and embraced the real life that everyone is seeking. On the basis of such texts, the early Christians called themselves simply “the living” (hoi zōntes).  They had found what all are seeking – life itself, full, and, hence, indestructible life” (Pope Benedict XVI, 2011, p. 83).  The living. That is remarkable.

And so, it is a mystery. Such a mystery, that the best route to understanding it is to have faith.  If Jesus Christ appeared to us today, would we believe it?  When we profess, I believe, do we mean it?  It is that faith that continues to proclaim itself to the whole world – until he comes again.

Amen.

Papa

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