for Sunday, April 22, 2012
Today's readings continue to deepen our understanding of the death and
resurrection of Jesus our Lord. They also help us understand the response
of the early Christians to this incredible happening and can help us
respond in our daily lives to Christ's Resurrection.
The Acts of the Apostles in the reading for today speaks about Peter
trying to preach to others about the events of the life, death and
resurrection of the Lord. It does not always work to tell others that they
have killed someone and should repent. It does not always change people to
tell them that they are in sin and need to repent. Only God's grace can
bring about the inner change that is necessary for true repentance. Yet
the early Church felt constrained to preach the truth, clearly with love,
but clearly the truth.
The reading from the First Letter of Saint John is also clear that the
Righteous One is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for
those of the whole world. Today's world is not different from that of our
ancestors. It is not easy for us to admit that we are sinners and that
there is sin in the world. Today we speak of mistakes, of faults, of
misunderstandings - but sin is a reality that is still unpopular, even though
we are all sinners.
The Gospel from Luke brings us back to the reality that we can only
understand Jesus Christ if we begin to understand the Jewish Scriptures,
our Old Testament. Somehow even today we shy away from really wanting to
know the Old Testament. It has lots of images that leave us uneasy. We
might be happy with an edition that left out all the difficult parts, but
that would not help us understand Jesus as the Christ.
So today, my sisters and brothers, we are invited to look into our hearts
and to know that we need salvation. We are invited to recognize that our
own choices against God are part of the sins in our world. We can then
accept that Jesus came to die for us and for our sins and that in Him we
are redeemed. All of this becomes more profound the more we understand
Jesus as our Lord through understanding the Jewish Scriptures.
This is not an easy road! To follow Christ and to know Him is not about
making us feel good. It is about being saved by the Man - God who took on
our nature so that He could share the nature of God with us. Alleluia!
That is an incredible message of hope and love. Let us rejoice because
Christ is risen!
Readings of the day:
First Reading: Acts 3.13-15, 17-19
Second Reading: 1 John 2.1-5
Gospel: Luke 24.35-48
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: