Scripture: Lectionary # 48. 4/22/12 Third Sun. Easter. Acts 3:13-15,17-19. Psalm 4:2.4.7-8.9. I John 2:1-5 Luke 24:35-48
Chapter 24 has always been one of the most encouraging and touching for me throughout the years. It continues to be so as I stretch toward the eighth decade of life. It means much more as I do so and the words of the disciples to Jesus make a lot of sense: “And they drew near to the village to which they were going, and he acted as though he were going on. And they urged him saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now far spent.” Our narrative on this Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, is the last of the appearances that are called Resurrection Appearances. It is a summary of the other extraordinary things Jesus said and done and how he fulfilled the promises they had heard and read from their Scriptures : Torah, Prophets, Psalms. The present narrative strikes me as speaking of the reality of his humanity and how it passes from death into new life just as Jesus passed through the doors on that first Sunday of his Resurrection. Resurrection is both a human and divine mystery. In it the words from the Epistle to the Hebrews are affirmed: “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday and today, and forever.” (Heb.13:8). Yes, Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end as the last book of Scripture states in Rev.21:6, 22:13. Luke, in giving the end of Jesus’ story of life here on earth has also gone on to tell us about the new life Jesus has now and in eternity. Luke is rapidly sketching out the whole mystery of Jesus in this last chapter of his Gospel. Life will continue in all of us through what we learn from the Acts of the Apostles. Sometimes we are asked to imagine what heaven will be like, but unbelievers scoff at such a thought. Scholars insist on symbolizing the Resurrection and do not touch upon the resurrection accounts with a faith perspective. However, there are some who do. One great student of St. Luke’s Gospel and Acts Is Father Robert Karris, O.F.M. He compares chapter 24 to a magnificent quilt that has been put together from a group of individuals who have made their small contribution with their specific sewing or pattern. But Luke, like the final one who knits it all together gives us this beautiful masterpiece of a quilt in his final chapter. In concluding his short commentary on the Resurrection Narratives in Luke says, “Thus, despite the scandal it might cause among his body scorning readers, Luke must champion the point that the redemption promised to those who follow Jesus is not limited to their spiritual element but embraces their entire human person.” We conclude with Jesus’ words :”I am risen, and am still with you.”
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