Third Sunday of Easter

In today’s gospel Jesus appears to His disciples after His resurrection.  They thought they were seeing a ghost, but he eats some fish to convince them.

All of us have an impressable instinct which tells us that we are more than a corruptible body;  that death is not the end; that somehow life must continue beyond the grave.  The resurrection of Jesus confirms this instinct.

The Resurrection of Jesus shows us that life after death is real.  Jesus’ resurrection shows that death does not end our friendship and human relationships. Rather, it adds a new dimension to them.

Death may be fearful because it is our final experience in this life, but Christ’s  resurrection shows that death is not ultimate in its finality.  Life after death is not just a fantasy.  Rather it is a reality based on faith.

Jesus resurrection also shows us that life after death includes the body.  His risen body is different, but it is still a body.

In the same way, when we rise from the dead, it won’t be as pure spirits.  We will rise with our bodies transformed by incorruptibility and glorified immortality.

Because life after death is real, we don’t have to be terrified of suffering and death.  Our victory over them is already won in Christ.  We don’t have to be disturbed about losing our family or the results of our work.  We expect to regain them in the resurrection.

Because life after death includes the body, we don’t have to worry about whether our body now is graceful or crippled, energetic or aging.  Every kind of body we can imagine is destined to rise from the dead to be transfigured in glory.  Our body and soul are one.  Death may separate them, but the resurrection will reunite them.

Jesus, in His resurrection, has proven to us that life after death is both real and physical.  The Eucharist is the presence of the Lord with us today. It is also the pledge of our presence together at the heavenly banquet in the afterlife.

God Bless

Msgr. Powell

Second Sunday of Easter

The appearance of the risen Jesus moves the disciples from a state of fear locked behind closed doors to an experience of joy and wonderment.  The Lord’s greeting, “Peace be you,” was a common Hebrew greeting.  Yet hearing those words on the lips of the one who suffered and died, and now stands among them, gave them a new richness.  Peace (in Hebrew, shalom) is not just the absence of conflict; it is an experience of deep confidence that dispels fear and is full of hope.  As Jesus showed them the wounds in His hands and His side, they knew that the risen one was truly their beloved master who died on the cross.

The mandate Jesus gives His disciples is a summary of His life and ours: “as the  Father has sent me, so I send you”.  As the word of God, Jesus revealed the Father for all to see—through His teachings, His healing signs, and finally His total self-gift on the cross.  Now Jesus sends us, His disciples, on that same mission.  We are to be to the world what Jesus has been to the world.  We are to embody the Fathers love, to teach and heal, to comfort and bring peace, to love as Jesus loved.

Jesus enlivened and empowered His disciples as he breathed on them and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”.  Much as the Creator breathed life into the first human being, Jesus breathed His Spirit into God’s new creation, the community of disciples empowered to forgive, heal, teach and love.

God Bless

Msgr. Powell