April 5, 2015
Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Psalm: 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
or1 Corinthians 5:5b-8
We forget how little Jesus’ disciples understood of what happened when Jesus rose from the dead, proving God is the God of life.
But when Mary of Magdala announced the empty tomb to the disciples who were gathered in prayer after Jesus’ crucifixion, they didn’t understand much at all.
When Peter and John raced to the tomb and saw his burial clothes lying there, their eyes began to be opened — but not all the way.
John, the author of the Gospel, says, “And he saw and believed. For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he (Jesus) had to rise from the dead.”
Matthew’s Gospel recounts that the disciples failed to understand even on the day of Jesus’ ascension, even after having spent 40 days with him after his resurrection, even only moments before they were to receive their commission to go and make disciples of all nation
Matthew writes of the disciples, after seeing Jesus where he had told them to meet him in Galilee, “They saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted.”
However, in the reading from Acts that opens this Sunday’s Scriptures, Peter has full understanding and boldly proclaims the Gospel.
After being fully empowered by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he proclaims the good news of Jesus to a gathering of Gentiles, “He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness, that everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Though I could offer witness to God’s miracles in my own life and those around me, nothing in my experience can come close to matching Jesus’ rising from the dead. And only the Holy Spirit, leading us to wisdom and understanding, can cause us to fully understand the significance of Jesus’ triumph over the grave.
Alleluia, he is risen indeed.
This column is offered in cooperation with The North Texas Catholic of Fort Worth, Texas.